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Read article from ABC News on how dental screenings linked to lower heart disease and stroke risk.

Do I still need to have cleanings if most of my teeth are crowned?
Absolutely, the area that a crowned tooth can decay is under the crown and gums. Small problems that develop around restorations can be found at an early stage and corrected easily, but waiting longer between dental exams may require redoing the entire restoration, root canal therapy, or even tooth loss.

Do you accept my dental insurance plan?
Our office accepts most insurance plans where you have the opportunity to select your dentist. We are not on any managed care lists. However, we are happy to discuss any insurance concerns prior to treatment.

What precautions do you take for infection control?
Our entire team is educated yearly on OSHA sterilization techniques and patient protection. Barrier methods such as masks, gloves, disposable plastic coverings on headrests and light handles are used for each patient. ADA approved disinfectants are used to wipe down the entire treatment room including the chair, all hoses, and counters. In our sterilization room, all instruments are heat sterilized after each use. Our autoclaves are tested at each use.

Do I really have to floss everyday?
Flossing helps prevent gum disease. It loosens food particles in tight spaces that your toothbrush cannot reach and removes plaque buildup. It is important for your overall health. Recent studies have shown a relationship between periodontal disease and heart disease. Daily flossing adds the finishing touch to insure a healthy smile for the future.

Is it a sign of gum disease if my gums bleed when I brush my teeth?
This is a very important sign to pay attention to at home. Healthy gums do not bleed. Bleeding gums can be caused by improper brushing or flossing, using a hard brush instead of soft, plaque buildup, or even gingivitis or periodontal disease. Please contact our office to set up an appointment for evaluation.

My old fillings in the front turned dark. What options do I have?
Drs. Riccardi and van Greuningen will work with you to decide your best option. Bonding or porcelain veneering may be offered to you. Remember, only replace these fillings after bleaching in order to match the new color of your natural teeth.

Who may benefit from tooth whitening?
Almost anyone. However, treatment may not be as effective for some as it is for others. Drs. Riccardi and van Greuningen can determine if you are a viable candidate. Darker stains, such as those caused by antibiotics, are more difficult to whiten.

Is whitening safe?
Yes. Extensive research and studies indicate that whitening teeth under the supervision of a dentist is safe.

What causes a tooth to crack?
A tooth may crack for many reasons such as: chewing on hard foods like ice, nuts, or candy, trauma, grinding or clenching your teeth, uneven chewing pressure, loss of significant portion of tooth structure through wear or large restorations, brittleness from root canal treatment. A cracked tooth may hurt because the pressure of biting causes the crack to open. When you stop biting, the pressure is released and a sharp pain results as the crack closes. If the inside of the tooth, the pulp, is damaged root canal treatment may be indicated. Drs. Riccardi and van Greuningen will determine the best treatment for your individual case.

Why do I need to have x-rays?
X-rays show a variety of things not seen by a visual exam, including bone loss, tooth decay, impacted teeth, some tumors and cysts. Dental x-rays machines today are low dosage.

Do you use silver fillings?
There’s some debate in the dental industry regarding the pro and cons of using amalgams to fill cavities. At our office, we almost exclusively use composite materials.

Why would my jaw hurt when I wake up?
You probably are clenching or grinding your teeth while you are sleeping. Overworking the jaw joint can cause inflammation resulting in pain, popping or clicking, or limited opening of the mouth. Moist warm heat, Advil, limit your opening to a minimal when eating, eat a softer diet, avoid caffeine, and reframe from using large pillows may help the joint to heal. If this problem continues please call our office.