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What are the most common dental problems?

The most common dental problems include tooth decay (cavities), gum disease, tooth sensitivity, bad breath, oral infections, and oral cancer.

Are amalgam fillings safe?

According to the FDA, amalgam fillings (a mixture of mercury, silver, copper, tin, and zinc) used in dentistry can release trace amounts of mercury vapor, particularly during actions like tooth grinding and gum chewing, or when new fillings are placed or old ones are removed. 

This temporary increase in exposure to mercury vapor can be experienced by both patients and healthcare providers. It's important to note that swallowing small particles of dental amalgam does not pose known health risks. However, inhaling mercury vapors may be harmful to certain individuals.

If your amalgam filling is in good condition and your dentist or healthcare professional confirms that there is no decay beneath the filling, there is generally no need for removal. Amalgam fillings can be long-lasting and effective, and removing them without a valid reason may not be recommended. Your dentist will assess the condition of the filling and provide appropriate guidance based on your specific situation.

How can I prevent dental plaque?

Dental plaque can be prevented through regular and proper oral hygiene practices. This includes brushing your teeth at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste, flossing daily, using an antiseptic mouthwash, and visiting your dentist regularly for professional cleanings.

What are the different types of tooth restorations?

Tooth restoration types include fillings (such as amalgam or tooth-colored composite fillings), crowns, bridges, implants, dentures, and veneers. The choice of restoration depends on the extent of the damage to the tooth and the desired outcome.

How can I prepare my child for their first dental visit?

To prepare your child for their first dental visit, you can:

  • Talk to them about the importance of visiting the dentist and maintaining oral health.
  • Use positive language and avoid negative associations with dental visits.
  • Read children's books or watch videos that portray dental visits in a positive light.
  • Play dentist with your child at home to make them familiar with dental tools.
  • Choose a pediatric dentist who specializes in treating children and has a child-friendly office environment.

Should wisdom teeth be removed?

Whether or not to remove wisdom teeth depends on various factors, including their alignment, available space in the mouth, potential for complications, and the recommendation of your dentist or oral surgeon. In some cases, wisdom teeth may need to be removed if they are impacted, causing pain, damaging adjacent teeth, or leading to other oral health issues.

What are the signs of gum disease?

Signs of gum disease (periodontal disease) may include red, swollen, or tender gums, bleeding gums during brushing or flossing, persistent bad breath, receding gums, loose teeth, and changes in your bite. If you experience any of these symptoms, it is important to see a dentist for an evaluation and appropriate treatment.

How can tooth sensitivity be treated?

Tooth sensitivity can be treated through various methods, including using desensitizing toothpaste, applying fluoride gel or varnish, using a soft-bristle toothbrush, avoiding acidic foods and beverages, and addressing any underlying dental issues that may be causing the sensitivity. It is best to consult with your dentist to determine the cause of your tooth sensitivity and the most suitable treatment option.

What is a root canal?

A root canal is a dental procedure performed to save a tooth that has an infected or inflamed pulp. The pulp is the soft tissue inside the tooth that contains nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissue. During a root canal, the infected pulp is removed, the root canals are cleaned and disinfected, and then they are filled and sealed to prevent further infection. A crown is often placed on the tooth to restore its strength and function.

When is dental cleaning recommended?

Dental cleaning, also known as a dental prophylaxis or scaling and polishing, is recommended at regular intervals, typically every six months. However, the frequency may vary depending on your individual oral health needs and the recommendation of your dentist. Regular dental cleanings help remove plaque, tartar, and stains from your teeth, and allow your dentist to detect any early signs of dental problems.