Frequently Asked Questions
Aren’t all general dentistry practices the same? What makes you different?
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?
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’s 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.