Sailboat on the Water

Below are some of the most commons FAQs (frequently asked questions) patients have about dentistry and oral health issues.  If you have any other questions, or would like to schedule an appointment, we would love to hear from you.

What should I expect at a free consultation or second opinion?

We will review your goals and expectations with an exam, and if needed take some digital photographs. Dr. Burton will answer questions and discuss options. Then we will prepare a written proposal for your treatment. Our treatment coordinator will then explain our payment options and programs. You are not under any obligation to proceed with treatment and we will be happy to give you a copy of all of our records for no charge. We understand that not everyone will be ready to proceed right away and we also understand we will not be the right place for everyone.

Choose a dentist you are comfortable and confident with. Call patient references regarding their satisfaction with treatment and particularly their satisfaction with any follow up treatment. Problems can and do occur with cosmetic procedures. Will your office graciously take care of you?

What is the difference between no-prep, minimal prep, and traditional prep veneers?

The no prep technique (i.e. Lumineers) allows veneers to be placed over existing teeth without the removal of any tooth structure. Many patients can fall into this category if the shade changes are not significant and the teeth are not rotated.

The minimal prep technique requires only slight modification ( 0.1 – .5 mm) of the enamel without touching the sensitive portion of the tooth (dentin). This technique can satisfy moderate shade changes and some rotated teeth cases.

The traditional or full prep technique requires a more significant removal of tooth structure (0.5 mm or greater). We recommend this technique be used only when the patient’s condition or expectations deem it necessary.

The best technique may combine any of the three techniques above and should be designed to achieve your results with the minimal amount of tooth loss. We would be happy to discuss our findings at your complimentary consultation.

How often should I brush and floss?

Brush your teeth at least twice a day (especially before going to bed at night) with an ADA approved soft bristle brush and toothpaste.

Daily flossing is the best way to clean to prevent cavities from forming between the teeth where your toothbrush can’t reach. Flossing also helps to keep your gums healthy.

What about “silver” fillings versus “white” fillings?

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. White 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.

There are numerous options to silver fillings, including composite (tooth-colored), porcelain, and gold fillings. We encourage you to discuss these options with Dr. Burton so you can determine which is the best option for you.

What happens to the bone when a tooth is extracted?

Following extraction 60% or more of the bone around the extracted tooth will be lost due to resorption. This bone can be preserved by utilizing artificial bone into fooling the body not to resorb this bone. The bone can also be preserved by placement of an implant either at the time of extraction (immediate implant), or several months later. Areas of bone loss can be rebuilt with additional bone grafting techniques. This will require additional surgery and increased expenses. Bone should always be preserved for the future when possible.