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Carano Dental Group

Frequently Asked Questions:

Good dental health is an important part of maintaining your general health, and many people have questions about the best ways to take care of their teeth and gums.

Here are some of the frequently asked questions that are asked in our office:

Frequently asked questions Lancaster DentistQ: Which type of toothbrush should I use?
A: The brand of the toothbrush is not as critical as the type of bristle and the size of the head. A soft toothbrush with a small head is recommended because medium and hard brushes tend to cause irritation and contribute to recession of the gums, and a small head allows you to get around each tooth more completely and is less likely to injure your gums. It’s unnecessary to “scrub” the teeth as long as you are brushing at least twice a day and visiting your dentist at least twice a year for cleanings.

We particularly recommend using a sonic toothbrush, such as the high-quality and high performance Sonicare toothbrush.

Q: Is one toothpaste better than others?
A: Generally, no. However, it’s advisable to use a fluoride containing toothpaste to decrease the incidence of dental decay. We recommend our patients use what tastes good to them as long as it contains fluoride.

Q: How often should I floss?
A: Flossing of the teeth once per day helps to prevent cavities from forming between the teeth where your toothbrush can’t reach. Flossing also helps to keep your gums healthy.

Q: I brush my teeth constantly but still have bad breath. What can I do?
A: Brushing and flossing are definitely the first steps to eliminating bad breath. Brushing and flossing remove bacteria responsible for creating odorous sulfur compounds and the food they feed on. However, bacteria hide not only on and around the teeth but also on the tongue under a layer of mucous. Here they are free to create odors.

You might want to consider a tongue scraper. They’re extremely effective at removing this protective mucous layer from the back of the tongue.

The latest products on the market for bad breath are toothpastes and mouthwashes containing chlorine dioxide. The chlorine dioxide neutralizes the odorous sulfur compounds, instead of simply covering up the odor.

Q: What are veneers?
A: Unlike a crown, which covers the entire tooth, a veneer is a thin porcelain covering that is placed over the front (visible) part of the tooth.

Q: How long does it take to get veneers?
A: Depending on how many teeth are involved, it three can take as little as two to three visits within one month.

Q: Is there a certain age range in which veneers are appropriate?
A: Anyone above the age 18 can be a great candidate for veneers. For older patients, as long as they can endure the length of the procedure, they too can be good candidates for veneers and often get the best results due to the potential dramatic improvements.

Q: What’s the difference between a “crown” and a “cap”?
A: These are restorations to repair a severely broken tooth by covering all or most of the tooth after removing old fillings, fractured tooth structure, and all decay. The restoration material is made of gold, porcelain, composites, or even stainless steel. Dentists refer to all of these restorations as “crowns”. However, many often refer to the tooth-colored ones as “caps” and the gold or stainless steel ones as “crowns”.

Q: What’s the difference between a “bridge” and a “partial denture”?
A: Both bridges and partial dentures replace missing teeth. A bridge is permanently attached to abutment teeth or, in some cases, implants. A partial denture is attached by clasps to the teeth and is easily removed by the patient. Patients are usually more satisfied with bridges than with partial dentures.

Q: What about “silver” fillings versus “white” fillings?
A: Although the U.S. Public Health Service issued a report in 1993 stating there is no health reason not to use amalgam (silver fillings), more patients today are requesting “white” or tooth-colored composite fillings. We also prefer tooth-colored fillings because they “bond” to the tooth structure and therefore help strengthen a tooth weakened by decay. While fillings are also usually less sensitive to temperature, and they also look better. However, “white” fillings cannot be used in every situation, and if a tooth is very badly broken-down, a crown will usually be necessary and provide better overall satisfaction for the patient.

Q: I have crooked teeth and I do not want braces. Am I a good candidate for Invisalign?
A: A consultation with a doctor is the best way to determine if you are a good candidate. In general, people who have a large under bite or overbite are better off with traditional orthodontics. Otherwise, most people can achieve straighter teeth with Invisalign treatment.

Q: Do I need to have a root canal just because I have to have a crown?
A: No. While most teeth which have had root canal treatments do need crowns to strengthen the teeth and to return the teeth to normal form and function, not every tooth needing a crown also needs to have a root canal.

Q: How does teeth whitening work and what are the side effects?
A: Teeth have tiny pores just like skin. Some teeth have bigger or more pores than others. These pores will pick up stains throughout time and cause teeth to appear darker. During the whitening process, the whitening solution bleaches out the stains from the pores allowing the teeth to look whiter. Whitening does not abrade the teeth as some people think. A common side effect of whitening is tooth sensitivity. Deep inside the tooth is the nerve. Once the pores are cleaned out, the outside environment (such as cold air or liquids) can communicate with the nerve which can cause mild discomfort. Permanent tooth sensitivity, though possible, is very unlikely. Most patients find sensitivity dissipates in one or two days. This happens because the body’s natural saliva creates a protein rich “smear” layer over the tooth covering the pores and blocking the environmental communication with the nerve.

Q:. What can gum disease mean for a diabetic?
A: Gingivitis is an infection within the gums caused by bacteria found in plaque. A diabetics body doesn’t respond as quickly to infection as a non-diabetic. If the infection persists, it can spread to the underlying bone that supports and anchors the teeth.

It has been shown that diabetics who keep their condition under control and maintain good oral hygiene have a far better chance of combating infections than those who are poorly controlled.

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We are a team of experienced and well-trained dentists and support staff, we
strive to provide our patients with the highest professional care for you and your family. Our patients receive innovative and outstanding dental care of the highest caliber in a caring, modern, and professional atmosphere. By entrusting and embracing our dental practice, patients partner with us, expressing a commitment to themselves and a lifetime of superior dental health, with dentists they can trust. Our patients develop relationships with our team based on mutual respect and are ambassadors for our practice. 

We are a family of exceptionally trained, compassionate dental professionals. Working collectively, we are dedicated to consistently delivering superb care, striving to exceed patient expectations. For this reason, Carano Dental Group has been named Best Lancaster Dentists.