There are some questions that dentists and their teams hear every day. Although some information is given to the public about these topics, there isn’t always a lot of information to back it, leaving patients wondering if certain procedures are really necessary, or what choices to make regarding their oral health. Here are 5 common dental care questions that we hear often at the office of Thomas Drake, DDS, and hope they are useful when you’re coming by for your next visit.
My tooth doesn’t hurt, so why should I fix it?
Luckily, cavities and broken teeth don’t always hurt. Even some of the most severe tooth trauma can have desensitized nerves that don’t feel pain. However, that does not mean the cavity does not exist! Fixing the tooth as early as possible will keep treatment smaller, less expensive, and save tooth enamel. Not to mention it can keep the issue from turning into something more serious, like a root canal.
How often do I need to have my teeth cleaned?
For most people, cleanings are needed every 6 months. Patients with active gum disease may need to be seen as frequently as every 3 months. These cleanings are essential to removing tartar that isn’t removable at home and would otherwise cause bone loss around the teeth.
Why are X-Rays really necessary?
Clinical examinations cannot see the tight contact areas between the teeth- an area that is one of the first locations to develop cavities (especially if you don’t floss regularly.) They also show the dentist where your bone levels are at.
Do baby teeth need to have their cavities filled since they’re just going to fall out anyway?
Great question! Baby teeth are meant to be guides to developing adult teeth, so premature loss due to cavities can cause orthodontic complications, and even spread infection to permanent teeth that have yet to erupt.
Can a tooth just have a filling instead of a crown?
There needs to be enough healthy enamel to support a filling. When a cavity or fracture takes up too much of the tooth’s surface, a crown will cover the entire tooth and ensure healthy function for years to come.
If you’ve found yourself asking any of these questions, then you’re probably due for a comprehensive care or preventive visit! We invite you to call Overland Park dentist, Thomas A. Drake, DDS and schedule a time at your earliest convenience to help get control back your oral health.