How often should I have my teeth cleaned?

Maintaining a regular dental appointment schedule isn’t just good for your teeth, it’s an important part of your overall health. Every person’s periodontal health is unique and dynamic. The recommended continuous care interval can range from every three months (for someone with periodontal disease) to every 6 months (for an optimally healthy person). This interval is influenced by patient susceptibility, oral hygiene effectiveness and systemic health.

My past dental experiences have been painful. Does it have to be this way?

Absolutely not. At Elm Hill Dentistry, we know that if we take our time and are careful, we can treat you with little to no discomfort. You are the boss – we’ll stop any time you need us to.

Know that your comfort is our primary focus, and we will constantly check in with you to ensure you’re okay. We have many patients who previously believed they needed to be sedated to have their dental work done. Those patients now visit us with no significant anxiety!

Read testimonials from our patients to learn about their experiences.

How do you work with people who are afraid?

We all know that some people are nervous about dental treatments, while others are downright afraid. At our dental clinic, we welcome you warmly and sit down in a comfortable, relaxing place to hear your story and concerns. We will be happy to take the time answer any questions that you may have. As the patient, you have total control – we’ll ask permission prior to continuing with any procedure. You’ll never be rushed; we’ll make time to answer your questions and treat you with optimal TLC.

Why is it important to floss?

The spaces between your teeth are difficult, if not impossible to clean properly by brushing alone. Flossing cleans the surfaces between your teeth that cannot be reached by your toothbrush. It disrupts bacteria which live in your gum tissues. If those bacteria are not removed, they can cause bleeding gums, decay and possible bone loss. It takes just a few minutes per day, and the payback is a cleaner and healthier mouth.

How often should I brush and floss?

Brushing and flossing every day is an integral part of your dental care. Elm Hill Dentistry recommends brushing your teeth at least twice per day with fluoride toothpaste. Flossing should be done at least once per day, preferably before bedtime.

At what age should I bring my child in for their first dental visit?

The first step to ensuring a lifetime of good dental health comes in creating a positive attitude in our children towards their oral health. It is recommended that a child's first visit to the dentist should be between two and a half and three years of age. At Elm Hill Dentistry we take special care to ensure that our younger patients are made to feel safe and comfortable.

How does tooth decay happen?

Without proper oral hygiene and regular dental exams, the bacteria in your mouth can reach dangerously high levels, resulting in serious oral infections such as tooth decay. Tooth decay is a complex process mediated by bacteria living on our teeth as part of a complex bio-film.

Does the health of my mouth really affect the rest of my body?

Yes. Many people do not realize that poor oral health can contribute to all kinds of medical conditions. Chronic oral infections like periodontitis can negatively affect people with heart disease and stroke, diabetes, osteoporosis, Alzheimer’s disease, premature birth and low birth weight and many other conditions. Acute oral infections can be life-threatening.

How do my medications affect my oral health?

Some medications can affect the amount of your saliva. A dry mouth increases the likelihood of tooth decay and gum disease. If you have questions about the effects of your medication, ask your dentist at Elm Hill Dentistry.

How do I replace a tooth (teeth)? How long does it take?

You now have more choices than ever for replacing missing teeth, including bridges, partial dentures, crown or dental implants, and implant secured dentures. Dr. Iacovino at Elm Hill Dentistry will be able to determine which option is best for you.

How long do implants last?

Although there are many restorative options for replacing missing teeth, none have proven as functionally effective and durable as dental implants. Implants are a permanent solution to replace missing teeth. We recommend implants because most conventional crown and bridge work fails due to decay, while implants cannot decay.

How long does it take to replace a tooth with an implant?

Implants are suitable for patients in good general health with healthy gums. Again, the length of time depends on many factors. The time that is required to place and restore the implant ranges from immediate to one year.

Why do my gums bleed?

Bleeding gums are a sign that your gums have become inflamed or infected as a result of plaque and tartar buildup along and below the gum lines. This condition can become very serious if left untreated and can eventually lead to receding gums and tooth loss. It’s important to visit a dentist if gum bleeding occurs, as inflammation can also cause bone loss in susceptible people.

What is teeth grinding, and how can I treat it?

Tooth grinding or bruxism, is a serious issue that can result in damage to your teeth. Bruxism is the grinding or clenching of the top and bottom teeth during the day or when sleeping.

We can treat teeth grinding with a night guard. Ask us about treatments available to relieve tension and discomfort in the jaw and neck. We can help your bite fit harmoniously and prevent grinding and clenching.

Why do I need X-rays?

X-rays are a critical part of the dental diagnostic process. They let us see bone levels, cavities, issues under fillings and aid pathology. We recommend X-rays based on each patient’s individual needs and current risk status.

How much radiation do X-rays have? Are they safe?

The average dental X-ray contains around 0.150 mSv of dental radiation, similar to the dose you’d receive during a cross-country airplane flight. Your exposure is further reduced by the use of a lead apron. The Canadian Dental Association has deemed dental X-rays safe to use for examination purposes.

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