Your Questions Answered!
Below is a list of some of the questions our patients most frequently ask. If you have a question that isn't answered below, feel free to give us a call and our team at Park West Dental Group will be happy to assist you.
Taking Care of Your Teeth and Gums
What is the best way to care for my teeth?
Why do I need to have regular dental visits?
What is plaque?
What are the different types of tooth whitening options?
How long does tooth whitening last?
Periodontal (Gum) Disease
What is Periodontal Disease, also known as Gum Disease?
What signs indicate Periodontal Disease?
How can I prevent Periodontal Disease?
What are Veneers?
How much of my natural tooth is removed to receive veneers?
Will my veneers change in color?
How long is the process to get a set of veneers or even just one?
How many veneers do I need?
How long do veneers last?
All About Dental Implants
Are-Dental implants the right decision for me?
Can implants be used to restore multiple teeth?
Are implants expensive?
Are implants or bridges a better choice?
How long do implants last?
What if I do not have enough bone in my jaw for implants?
When an implant is surgically placed how long until I get my new tooth?
How can I get a full set of teeth in one day?
Other Common Questions
What is the easiest way to improve my smile?
What is cosmetic dentistry?
What are composite fillings?
Should I get my mercury, amalgam, fillings replaced?
What are my options for mercury replacement?
Are mercury fillings dangerous to remove?
Answers to FAQ
What is the best way to care for my teethThe best care for your teeth begins at home. You should brush at least twice a day, once in the morning and once before going to bed. You should floss once a day as well. To properly brush your teeth, first, make sure to use a soft bristled brush. Hard bristled brushes wear down your tooth enamel. Placing your brush at a 45 degree angle to your gum-line be sure that the bristles contact both the tooth surface and the gum-line. Then proceed to brush using short back and forth strokes or tiny circular movements to brush your teeth. Make sure to use gentle strokes while brushing. Brush all surfaces of each tooth, including the outer, inner, and the chewing surfaces of the teeth. Our dentists, Dr. Bierman, Dr. Ma, Dr. Shaw and Dr.Tornay like to see their patients brush for at least 2 minutes. When flossing, following these guidelines: wind 18 inches of floss around the middle finger of each hand. Gently move the floss up and down between the spaces of your teeth. As you move the floss down into the space between two teeth, make a 'C' shape, against the surface of the tooth. Repeat this process for all of your teeth.
Why do I need to have regular dental visits?We like to see our patients a minimum of twice a year. With biannual dental exams, we are able to see early signs of decay that you may not. You want us to catch these conditions early, when they are more easy to control. Additionally, getting a cleaning by a trained professional will remove plaque in areas you may have missed or cannot reach.
What is plaque?Plaque is a mixture of bacteria and food debris. It is that sticky film that forms every day on teeth. When plaque is not removed, it proceeds to gum disease, which is an infection of the gums and cavities. By scheduling regular dental checkups, along with brushing and flossing every day, you can help prevent plaque buildup on your teeth. Additionally, considering your diet, limiting sugary snacks and eating balanced meals will help your teeth and control plaque.
What are the different options for Tooth Whitening?There are three commonly used tooth whitening options.
|| In-office Tooth Whitening
In-office Tooth Whitening significantly changes the color of your teeth in short amount of time, usually within an hour. The procedure is done in our office, under our dentists care, by applying a high concentration peroxide gel on the teeth after they have been protected with a shield.
||Dentist Recommended Take-Home Whitening Kits
These whitening kits are purchased from our dentists, Dr. Bierman, Dr. Ma, Dr. Shaw and Dr.Tornay, for use at home. The intensity of this gel is lower than that used for in-office bleaching, and is applied for longer periods of time. Usually the whitening trays are worn a couple hours a day or overnight for a few days or weeks, depending on the product.
||Over the Counter Whitening
Over the counter tooth whitening kits use a lower concentration gel than both in office bleaching and take dental office home kits. This is a cheaper, though less effective method. Additionally, over the counter trays are not custom fit for your teeth, meaning you are getting a 'one size fits all' product.
How long does tooth whitening last?The amount of time tooth whitening lasts varies. Patients often ask for annual touchups. Though, you can assume it to last from one to three years. The amount of time differs for those who smoke, drink coffee, or intake other food or drink that stains.
What is Periodontal Disease, also known as Gum Disease?Periodontal Disease is an infection of the gums and bone. Periodontal disease occurs when plaque has been able to build up on the teeth and then hardened. This is often due to poor brushing habits. The early stage of the disease is called gingivitis and if caught, is completely reversible. As the disease advances, periodontal disease can lead to sore and bleeding gums, pain while chewing, as well as tooth loss.
What signs indicate Periodontal Disease?These are the signs of periodontal (gum) disease. These signs may not necessarily include pain, but you should contact your dentist if you experience any of these:
||Red, swollen, or tender gums
||Gums that bleed while brushing
||Bad breath that doesn't seem to go away
||Gums have pulled away or receded from the teeth
||Pus has developed between your teeth and gums
||Loose or shifting teeth
||A change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite
||A change in the fit of partial dentures
How can I prevent Periodontal Disease?Periodontal disease can be prevented with good oral hygiene. This includes a home routine of brushing, flossing, and visiting your dentist regularly. A healthy diet also helps to get the required vitamins and minerals necessary for your teeth.
What are Veneers?Porcelain veneers are a very thin porcelain cover for the front, edge, and small portion of the back of anterior teeth. Veneers can be used for cosmetic and reconstructive purposes. Our patients at San Diego Dental Studio have used Veneers to cover up stained, worn down teeth, to straighten crooked teeth, to change the shape or color of your teeth or to restore teeth that have been fractured or cracked.
How much of my natural tooth is removed to receive veneers?It will depend on your situation of how much of the natural structure will have to be removed, but we want to make as little of an impact on you as possible. Some veneers don't require any removal of the tooth structure. Proper planning and the expertise of our staff always lead to the optimal esthetic success and beauty.
Will my veneers change in color?The shade of the veneers are stable for their lifetime, Porcelain doesn't stain like most other dental materials or even natural teeth.
How long is the process to get a set of veneers or even just one?The time involved is depending on what you are looking for from your Veneer. There are different options that our San Diego staff is happy to discuss with you
How many veneers do I need?What are you looking for? To repair a single tooth, or your front teeth, or a smile makeover? Take a look at your smile, if you check out your upper smile from the side as well as the front, a veneer candidate will frequently count from 8 to 10 teeth that matter in the display of a good smile. Frequently a full makeover entails 20 teeth. A conservative plan considers 4 to 8 for a moderate change.
How long do veneers last?Often Veneers are stronger and more durable than the teeth they are restoring. But, they can chip or break under severe conditions, and may have to be replaced. The life expectancy is a conservative two years, though many patients have reported having them much longer.
Are Dental Implants the right decision for me?Dental Implants are made of a metal called titanium, which is a biocompatible material. We use them to replace missing teeth.
The benefits to a Dental Implant are substantial including:
||They are integrated into bone and act like a tooth root to support new teeth.
||A missing tooth will cause atrophy in the bone beneath it, giving you an older appearance.
||Dental Implants do not decay or have the same gum disease risk as natural teeth
||Implants look, feel and act like natural teeth unlike other options.
||If you are missing many teeth, a dental implant can help stabilize a bridge or denture.
Can implants be used to restore multiple teeth?Implants can be used to restore multiple teeth. If you experience tooth loss, the bony ridges of your jawbone start to decrease. Implants preserve your bone from shrinking, leaving you many future options for tooth replacement.
Are implants expensive?You may be surprised at the cost of a permanent Dental Implant compared to other temporary options. It can be a costly procedure, but talk to our dentists at San Diego Dental Studio, and compare the results and expense for your situation.
Are implants or bridges a better choice?Traditionally, dentists have replaced missing teeth with bridges. This is not ideal, because a bridge requires the neighboring teeth to have the majority of their external tooth structure removed. With an implant, you only need a crown made on top of the implant itself to restore it, leaving the neighboring teeth undisturbed and completely intact.
How long do implants last?Research has shown that dental implants have a 98% successful rate, higher success than most dental procedures. Ask us about our warranty.
What if I do not have enough bone in my jaw for implantsIf we determine that you do not have enough bone structure we can perform minor bone grafting. Bone grafting is a common procedure, and is required for successful implant care.
When an implant is surgically placed how long until I get my new tooth?Dental Implants do require a time for healing, but for front teeth we strive to place temporary teeth the same day. Posterior teeth are often left to rest 6-8 weeks prior to placing a functional chewing force on them. In cases where the strength of the bone was less, more time may be required (7-10 months). We always plan for long-term success and we do not rush.
How can I get a full set of teeth in one day?Getting a full set of Implants in one day is a huge procedure, but with the use of CAT scan planning we can plan for whole mouth teeth replacements and surgical precision. A majority of the work in this procedure is in the planning, but we can deliver exceptional care quickly and never leave you without teeth regardless of your particular need or treatment.
What is the easiest way to improve my smile?Whitening your teeth is the least invasive way to have a huge impact on your teeth. But, we can recommend other ideas such as replacing old fillings, veneers on chipped front teeth, straightening teeth through traditional braces or with the new system of invisible aligners called Invisalign, or more, ask us for options that are best for you.
What is cosmetic dentistry?Cosmetic Dentistry is to help you be happy with your smile. We offer several options to improve your smile with cosmetic dentistry. Dr. Bierman, Dr. Ma, Dr. Shaw and Dr.Tornay have studied extensively and have committed a large part of our practice to exceptional smile transformations. We can help you with subtle nuanced changes to extreme makeovers.
What are composite fillings?Composite is tooth colored ceramic with resin filling that can bonded to your teeth to create a natural appearing restoration.
Should I get my mercury, amalgam, fillings replaced?Mercury based, amalgam, fillings are becoming more and more obsolete for most of our patients.
What are my options for mercury replacement?Today's ceramic replacement have become a much stronger and healthier option for our patients. At your next appointment, ask our staff about the option that is best for you, we will advise you based on your circumstance.
Are mercury fillings dangerous to remove?We use special measures to protect you when removing mercury fillings. Removal is not considered a health risk by the profession.