Frequently Asked Questions About Dental and Oral Care

When is it necessary for me to consider having a root canal?

After the inside of a tooth is injured or becomes infected or inflamed due to the introduction of bacteria to pulp from deep cavities, traumatic injuries, tooth fractures, and other conditions. There are nerves and blood vessels within the root canals which continue into the jaw. This infection can only be resolved by removal of the nerve by making a small hole in the top of the tooth, cleaning out and filling the inner injured and/or infected tissue or having the tooth extracted.

Why aren’t antibiotics a cure for infected teeth?

Antibiotics will temporarily stop the spread of dental infection into other parts of the body, but they are not strong enough to kill the harmful bacteria and resolve the infection if a tooth is infected.

How can I get a beautiful smile? I’m embarrassed to open my mouth because of my ugly teeth.

Cosmetic dentistry can easily improve your smile. Some simple and easy treatments are dental bleaching, dental bonding, porcelain veneers, braces or invisible braces for starters. Many types of cosmetic dentistry applications are not terribly expensive, and depending on your specific needs Sparkle Dental can custom design the perfect solution for every budget.

Why do I need a crown? Can’t you just place a filling?

When a tooth is structurally compromised from large cavities, fracture, broken filling, or has been root canaled, a crown (cap) is necessary to protect the tooth from fracture.

If I have cavities, why don’t my teeth hurt?

The cavity has not reached or become close to the nerve which is how we sense pain. You don’t want to wait until your teeth are hurting to get them filled. If you wait too long, the cavity may progress causing the tooth to need root canal therapy or extraction.

At what age should I take my child to their first dental appointment?

It’s recommended to allow a child even as young as 1 year to experience the dental office so that they’re not scared when they are scheduled for their first appointment. It is very healthy to sensitize them to the environment so that they know what to expect.

How do I get rid of my bad breath?

Bad breath is caused by bacteria, which in turn causes gum disease and cavities. It is important to brush your teeth 2 times and floss at least once daily. Regular dental visits and brushing the tongue and roof of the mouth can help to decrease bacteria levels as well.

What are my options to replace missing teeth?

Implants are metal posts surgically placed into the bone. Bridges are fixed dental restorations used to replace one or more missing teeth by joining artificial teeth to adjacent teeth or implants with definitive cement. Partial or complete dentures are porcelain or plastic teeth on acrylic bases that are removable and overdentures are implant retained dentures.

Why is it important for my teeth to be cleaned by a dentist?

After eating, debris and plaque build-up accumulate on our teeth. The plaque must be removed at least twice daily by brushing and flossing. After a 24-hour period, plaque begins to harden into tartar. This situation attracts large quantities of bacteria which grow and release toxins. The toxins can cause the breakdown of bone and inflammation of soft tissues (gum disease). Periodontal disease is the number one cause of tooth loss in the US. Approximately 70% of the population suffers from gum disease. Several studies continue to emphasize the importance of oral health since it affects overall systemic health.

Why not just take antibiotics instead of getting a root canal for my tooth infection?

Antibiotics will temporarily prevent the short-term spread of a dental infection into the rest of the head/neck region. However, antibiotics are not strong enough to kill the bacteria and resolve the infection if a tooth is infected.

Why can’t I just pull out my teeth and get dentures?

Dentures often referred to as “plates” function at a fraction of our normal dentition. Removable dentures are not the most favorable option since they are removable and difficult to stabilize in the mouth. Patients often present with sore spots, discomfort, and with time, deterioration of the underlying bone holding the denture. When people have fewer teeth to chew with, they tend to eat less (not fulfilling nutritional requirements), and not chew as well (creating digestive issues). There is no better replacement for our teeth than our natural dentition.

Why do I need to fill baby teeth- they just fall out anyway?

Baby teeth allow children to smile, speak, and eat. Cavities progress very quickly in baby teeth. Leaving cavitated baby teeth leads to infections in the mouth which can damage the permanent teeth growing in beneath and possibly spreading infection throughout the body. Some baby teeth depending on the extent of tooth loss and/or infection may need to be extracted. If teeth are extracted, placement of a space maintainer may be necessary to hold the space for the permanent teeth to grow into.