Q: Do you guarantee your work?
A: Dealing with living tissues, that’s impossible, but, given our long history, you can count on us to take full responsibility for all that we do.
Q: How long do porcelain laminates last?
A: It depends on a number of factors but many that we made more than 20 years ago are still functioning. Lower laminates are under greater stress than uppers and may require more maintenance.
Q: What are the signs of a dying nerve?
A: Pain with heat and/or pressure on reclining, i.e. at night. Sensitivity to cold in the absence of the other symptoms is less significant.
Q: Are you comfortable with patients seeking second opinions?
A: Absolutely. We encourage second opinions and freely release or electronically transfer x-rays and other pertinent examination materials.
Q: If I’m out of town and lose a filling, what do I do?
A: If there is no pain you can safely wait until your return. If there is discomfort, purchase a temporary filling material (Den-Temp) at a pharmacy.
Q: Why have many dentists stopped making silver fillings?
A: We’re among them because we are uncomfortable with gratuitously placing a dangerous heavy metal, mercury, in people’s mouths.
Q: Why is good dentistry so expensive?
A: Dentists must build, equip and maintain individual high tech facilities and must recruit, train and pay a full staff. On the other hand, most MD’s use their offices mainly for examinations and do their high tech or surgical procedures at hospitals that are supported by state, federal and private funds. Hospitals also provide and pay for a full range of ancillary personnel and services. Finally, while insurance covers all or most common medical fees for service, dental insurance is very limited, covering basic procedures only and rejecting more sophisticated services such as implants and porcelain laminates.
Q: I see ads about making laminates without touching the teeth at all. Is that really possible? Do you do this?
A: Yes, it is possible and yes, when conditions are perfect for this technique, we do make so-called no-preparation laminates. Our goal, however, is beautiful esthetics and healthy surrounding gum tissue. If a no-preparation laminate interferes with this goal, we will recommend the modest tooth preparation necessary for an ideal result.
Q: What toothpaste do you recommend?
A: We believe that any commercially available toothpaste that contains fluoride is just fine. For folks with sensitive teeth, Sensodyne is often helpful. Also, recent studies suggest that pastes containing Xlitol can help control cavities.
Q: What mouthwash do you recommend?
A: Listerine appears to be the best of the commercial brands. For general use, however, we have long preferred Tooth and Gum Tonic, a largely herbal produce made by Dental Herb Co. For people concerned about bad breath, Closys by Rowpar Pharmaceuticals is a very effective mouthwash. We dispense both Tooth and Gum and Closys at our office.
Q: An old silver filling on a molar in my mouth has apparently failed. I was disappointed that my dentist recommended replacement with a gold onlay instead of another silver filling. Why?
A: He/she probably discovered one or more of the following conditions, any one of which would make a “simple” filling the wrong solution:
- Cusps of the tooth are weakened and subject to fracture.
- Pain on pressure, indicating a possible fracture
- Asymptomatic fracture lines that are precursors of eventual major fracture
- Extensive decay
All of these conditions require restoration with either gold or a very strong ceramic material to insure the long term survival of the tooth in question.
Q: My dentist cautions against using porcelain on my back teeth because I am a grinder and he fears that the porcelain will crack. However, I hate metal, even far back in my mouth. Is there no alternative?
A: There is an alternative. We have begun to make crowns of solid zirconia, an industrial strength ceramic material that appears to be impervious to chipping and fracture. It is not as beautiful as porcelain but there is no metal display and it will satisfy most people if confined to the back of the mouth. Costs are similar to all porcelain or porcelain fused to metal crowns.