A: Millions of people struggle with halitosis, or bad breath, despite daily teeth brushing. Here is a checklist of things you can do to eliminate the problem: twice daily brushing, daily flossing and tongue cleaning, regular professional cleanings, and careful cleaning of any dentures or removable dental appliances. However, if your hygiene is meticulous and the problem persists, we can offer several solutions.
First, we can provide a plastic tool called a tongue scraper that cleans away bacterial build-up on your tongue, while significantly alleviating odor. Or, we can recommend a specially-prepared rinse or toothpaste designed to actually break the odor-causing sulfur bonds that cause bad breath. Finally, we may suspect a systemic or internal problem such as an infection or underlying condition, in which case we may recommend a visit with your family physician or specialist to identify the cause.
A: If your doctor has recommended a crown to you, it is likely either to correct a broken tooth or to repair a tooth that has deteriorated due to cavities (decay). The decay in your tooth eats away healthy tooth structure much like rust eats away at metal. If not removed, decay will deteriorate the tooth to the point where extraction is the only viable treatment option.
Sometimes, decay is removed, leaving healthy tooth structure, but not much of it. A crown can then be placed, restoring the look and function of your tooth while allowing you to keep your natural, underlying tooth structure. Most crowns are precision-milled porcelain or full metal (gold or silver) and are individually customized for each application in each patient, giving you a natural, long-lasting smile.
A: Yes, we do offer digital x-rays. Digital x-rays, called radiographs, use less radiation and are safer for you than traditional film x-rays. You will find that in our dental practice, we research the latest trends in technology to find the solutions that promote your overall health, safety, and comfort.
A: Research shows that fluoride reduces cavities in both children and adults by halting tooth decay. It also helps repair the early stages of tooth decay even before the decay becomes visible. Interestingly, many people continue to be misinformed about fluoride and fluoridation. Fluoride is a safe chemical component when used correctly.
When your dentist applies fluoride to your teeth, usually in the form of a fluoride varnish, gel, or foam, that fluoride is more concentrated than the fluoride contained in toothpaste or mouthwash. The ADA recommends dental professionals use any of the professional-strength fluoride varnishes, gels, or foam products carrying the ADA Seal of Acceptance.
A: You are not alone. Most people want to have a nice smile since it is one of the first things others notice about you. You may be interested in a few minor adjustments, or you may have concerns that need more attention. Some smiles can be enhanced with simple whitening or bonding treatments.
Other smiles need porcelain veneers, crowns, or bridges, gum contouring, periodontal therapy, or a combination of these techniques. Dr. Fields will suggest a treatment plan for you based on your goals, the areas of concern, and the overall condition of your oral health.
A: Dr. Fields has several ways to improve the look of your front teeth without the use of unsightly braces. For slightly crooked or unevenly worn teeth, a bit of reshaping and the addition of porcelain veneers may be sufficient to give them a bright, uniform look. We would be happy to talk with you further about the option that best suits your individual situation.
Attention to detail, respect for the individual, and a true concern for each patient are the hallmarks of our personal care and our quality product. We are committed to helping you fulfill your ultimate self-image.
A: Losing a back tooth will darken your overall smile, making it look smaller and narrower. Your smile will appear to stop short, and the look will be exaggerated if your missing tooth has teeth on both sides of it. Additionally, function during chewing will be reduced, and the function of many teeth can be affected by losing just one tooth.
When you are missing a tooth, you compensate by chewing differently, putting pressure on different parts of your mouth. This can cause your other teeth to shift, creating gaps and spaces, and may even cause fractures that result in additional tooth loss or the need for restorations.
A: By replacing missing teeth either with a bridge or dental implant, you will alleviate the problems associated with missing a tooth and will give your smile back its beautiful, full appearance. A bridge is one solution for replacing a tooth. By using neighboring teeth as the supportive structure, Dr. Fields places a porcelain restoration into the vacant space, restoring the functionality and look of your smile.
A dental implant is also an excellent solution. Dental implants involve the placement of a titanium post directly into the jawbone. Once the post has bonded to the bone, it can act as a new, solid support for a natural looking, porcelain restoration. Implants can replace a single tooth, or an entire set of teeth, offering more function and permanence than traditional dentures.
A: Over the years, patients have given us the compliment of referring family and friends to our practice. Our reputation for excellent dental care depends on two things: our good work and your beautiful smile. Your confidence in our care motivates us to continue to strive for excellence. Thank you for your referrals. Your trust and support are greatly appreciated.
A: Many people who notice chipped or cracked teeth, but who don’t remember when the injury occurred, damaged their teeth while they were sleeping. Grinding or clenching your teeth during the night will cause your teeth to chip, crack, and even break. To keep you from seriously damaging your teeth, we recommend a dental appliance called a nightguard. A custom-fitted nightguard protects your teeth from grinding and clenching in your sleep.
Dr. Fields takes great care in making sure you have a proper fit to prevent pain in your jaw joint. Do you suffer from headaches? You may find that a side benefit of your nightguard is headache prevention. Many headaches start during the night, caused by the extreme pressure generated as you grind and clench your teeth. Ask us about having a nightguard custom-created for you.
A: Yes, we do offer monthly payment plans with our financial partners, Compassionate Finance™ and CareCredit®. We provide a variety of ways for you to pay for your treatment so that it fits comfortably into your personal or family financial goals. We work with you to create the solution that best accommodates you so you can have the beautiful, healthy smile you have always desired.
A: Dental insurance is designed to assist you in paying for your dentistry; however, most procedures are not fully covered by your insurance. Cosmetic dentistry, in particular, is not covered by most dental insurance plans. To help you afford your smile, we offer a variety of payment options, in addition to a monthly payment plan provided by our financial partners. We also pay special attention to maximizing the benefits that your insurance does provide. Ask us how you can comfortably afford your dentistry, while also maximizing your dental insurance benefits.
A: Helping to make your dental care financially comfortable and affordable is important, and we proudly offer a variety of payment and financing options:
Optimal, comprehensive dentistry is what we practice, and our treatments are not based on what insurance will or will not pay. We base our treatment on what is best for you, and any treatment not paid by insurance is your financial responsibility.
A: Gums affected by periodontal disease become red and inflamed, often bleeding during brushing or flossing. Timely treatment can reverse these conditions; however, if these conditions are ignored, your periodontal disease can worsen, becoming a condition called periodontitis. Periodontitis is much more difficult to treat.
Periodontitis affects your gums, bone, and teeth in a manner that cannot be reversed. To prevent tooth loss, you may require more extensive, specialized treatment from your general dentist or even a periodontist. If left untreated, periodontitis results in tooth loss – the teeth either fall out on their own or must be extracted. If your periodontitis isn’t diagnosed and treated in its early stages, you may require extensive surgery to save your teeth, which may also put you at risk for other serious health problems.
A: Most dental pain brought on by chewing is caused by a fracture (or crack) in the tooth. The pain can be corrected by placing an inlay/onlay or a porcelain crown, or with more advanced treatment. You want to correct the pain as soon as possible to prevent further damage to the tooth. Contact us today to schedule a visit.
A: Porcelain veneers improve your smile by correcting a multitude of cosmetic concerns, including gaps in teeth, chips and broken teeth, dull or yellowing teeth that cannot be whitened with traditional means, “gummy” smiles (too much gum showing when one smiles), and crooked teeth. Porcelain veneers broaden, straighten, whiten, and beautify almost any smile.
This procedure can be done in as little as two clinical visits. Many of our patients feel like this was the best improvement that could have been done for their overall confidence. Ask us, or send us an email, about how porcelain veneers can improve your smile at your next visit.
A: There are a number of procedures available to help whiten your smile, from at-home whitening products to in-office supervised treatments. Dr. Fields evaluates the potential for whitening your teeth based on their current color and on the causes of any discoloration. Once you decide on the most appropriate method, you will spend anywhere from two-to-four weeks undergoing a series of simple whitening treatments.
The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.