Frequently Asked Questions
Aren’t all general dentistry practices the same? What makes you different?
While we can’t speak for other practices, we can tell you why our patients keep coming back and recommending our services to family and friends. It’s because of our total commitment to the highest standard of care. Dr. Sweeney-Fonseca, Dr. Cohen, and our team invest time and effort in continuing education each year. We believe in timeless customer service values. We treat patients as if they were our own family. We only choose the highest quality materials and tools, so what you receive is the best dentistry we can provide. That commitment to our patients’ overall wellbeing makes a big impression. You’ll feel it as soon as you walk in the office.
How can I whiten my teeth?
Stains that accumulate because of eating, drinking, smoking, and aging can be effectively removed using three methods:
In-Office Whitening – We offer the most advanced whitening in office, which lightens teeth many shades in just one visit. Professional whitening gel penetrates tooth enamel and breaks apart staining compounds without damaging the teeth. Patients who want instant gratification often choose this method.
Take-Home Whitening – Home whitening kits include custom-made trays and a professional-strength gel only available from your dentist. Wear the trays daily, as directed, for about a week to brighten your smile 6 to 8 shades. Take-home whitening causes very minimal – if any – tooth sensitivity, and it’s a very economical solution for many patients.
Over-the-Counter Whitening – You’ve probably seen whitening strips, pastes, and trays at your local supermarket. Certain systems can be effective at lightening teeth two or three shades. However, you should always consult your dentist before beginning a whitening regimen, as you could damage your teeth and gums, as well as end up with uneven, splotchy results. Certain types of stains don’t lighten as well as others, in which case we can recommend whitening alternatives. Ultra-thin porcelain veneers cover discolorations, and the veneers resist staining, so you can continue to enjoy coffee, red wine, and tea without worrying about your tooth color.
My teeth are especially sensitive. Why does that happen?
Without a professional evaluation, it’s hard to say for sure what’s causing your tooth sensitivity. That’s because there are so many possible culprits, including a chipped or cracked tooth, gum disease, bruxism (teeth grinding), cavities, or even dental work that is need of replacing. If you notice that your teeth are sensitive, schedule an evaluation with your dentist. This problem won’t go away on its own, and may be corrected with a simple and conservative treatment, like a dental filling or a mouth guard.
What's the difference between a ||healthy mouth dental cleaning|| and periodontal therapy?
People with healthy teeth and gums need to visit the dentist every six months for a checkup and cleaning. If gum disease is not present, a healthy mouth cleaning is done. During this procedure, our hygienist removes plaque, tartar, and decaying food particles from teeth. She also polishes the teeth, so they feel smooth and clean. At your healthy mouth cleaning, feel free to ask questions about oral healthcare and homecare tips. Brushing and flossing should be a simple and normal part of your daily life.
Periodontal therapy, or a “deep cleaning,” is intended to heal diseased gums. Early signs of gum disease include bleeding, sensitive, red, or swollen gums. Sometimes patients feel no pain with early-stage gum disease, or gingivitis. The condition can rapidly escalate as bacteria multiply in the warm, wet climate of the mouth. The bacteria create pockets between teeth and gums, breaking down the bond that provides support for your teeth and causing bad breath. Gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss for American adults, and up to 80% of the population has some level of the disease. If you are advised to have a deep cleaning, don’t delay. Let our hygiene team help you eradicate the bacteria and reverse the damage gum disease has caused in your mouth.
Should I be concerned about gum disease?
Some people are more prone to gum disease than others. If you smoke, have diabetes, or are over the age of 40, you’re at a greater risk. If left untreated, gum disease can destroy soft tissues, eventually leading to tooth loss. Recent studies have also linked gum disease to heart disease and diabetes, reporting that patients with gum disease are twice as likely to develop more serious ailments. At Dr. Sweeney-Fonseca and Dr. Cohen’s office, we take gum disease seriously and so should you! Visit us regularly, and we’ll monitor your oral health and recommend treatments when necessary. Together, we can prevent gum disease from claiming your smile and your overall health.
When should my child first visit the dentist?
We want to see your child when they have teeth! Most children respond well to a dental visit at a very early age, and the ADA (American Dental Association) and the AAPD (American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry) recommend children have a first visit at one year of age or when the first tooth erupts into their mouth. If you notice any development problems with your child’s mouth or teeth, call us to schedule a visit immediately.
What precautions do you take to ensure patient safety?
We employ a comprehensive dental sterilization program. In addition, our entire staff has completed training with an extensive monitoring program to provide a sterile and safe environment for patients. All procedures comply with guidelines established by the American Dental Association and the Centers for Disease Control to protect you from exposure to infectious diseases. You can be confident we will never compromise when it comes to your health and safety.
Do you accept referrals?
Yes, and thank you for your confidence. We appreciate your referrals and promise to extend the same comprehensive, caring service to your friends and coworkers that we give you every time you visit.