Better living through science and dentistry.
DO YOU "ACCEPT" OR "TAKE" MY INSURANCE?
a dentist "accepts" your insurance, he or she "participates" with your
plan. This means that all of the fees and patient payments are set to
your geographic location. If the dentists does not participate with
your plan, you may still use your insurance and you will just pay the
difference after your insurance is filed.
WHEN DO I NEED A "CAP" OR A "CROWN"?
When a tooth is about 75% filled and the filling or tooth breaks, there is not enough tooth remaining to "hold" a filling. The next step would be "full coverage" or simply a crown.
WHEN DO I NEED A ROOT CANAL?
The main cause of a root canal is a crack or fracture of a tooth. Over the years, small fracture lines occur around the filling and start to move inside the tooth, close to the nerve chamber. Bacteria can enter the crack and cause an infection inside of the nerve chamber which will lead to constant pain and/or swelling in the area. A root canal eliminates the bacteria and infection and a filling material is placed inside of the tooth and roots so a person does not have to have it extracted.
WHEN DO I NEED A TOOTH "PULLED" OR EXTRACTED?
If bacteria enter the nerve chamber and infects the tooth, but the tooth does not have enough bone to support it, then a person would have an extraction rather than a root canal.
SHOULD I HAVE MY "SILVER" FILLINGS REMOVED AND REPLACED WITH TOOTH COLORED FILLINGS?
As long as your current silver fillings are secure and not "leaking" then there is no need to replace them unless you have a medical condition related to the materials in the fillings.
SHOULD I REPLACE A MISSING TOOTH?
The upper and lower teeth fit together like a puzzle from top to bottom and from front to back. If you have a missing tooth you may notice that the other teeth have "moved" and do not fit like that original puzzle. A person should always try to replace a missing tooth to avoid an improper bite.
HOW DOES AN IMPLANT WORK?
A single implant to replace a single tooth is similar to the material used for a hip replacement. The anchor is place in the bone where the root of the tooth used to be, then a screw is attached to the anchor, and then a regular crown or cap is placed over the screw.
WHAT IS A BRIDGE?
A bridge is a set of crown used to replace one or more missing teeth. If a person is missing one tooth then they may get a "3 unit" bridge to replace that missing tooth. The teeth or either side of the missing tooth are shaped down and 3 crown hooked together are cemented in place. So to replace one tooth a person would need 3 crowns.