Q) How do I know when it is time to come in for a checkup?
We recommend that patients with good oral health schedule a checkup and hygiene visit twice each year. If more frequent visits are necessary, we will let you know. Checkups are important because pain or problems with teeth can go unnoticed and Dr. Hume may find signs of potential problems. At a hygiene/check up appointment, our hygienist will clean plaque, tartar, and hardened food particles from the teeth and make sure that your gums are healthy and strong.
Q) Why are checkups recommended every six months, even for people with great oral health?
Dental decay can exist without symptoms for many months, but the damage to the teeth is still present. Dr. Hume uses the DIAGNOdent laser cavity detection to find cavities in their earliest stage. Early detection allows our office to provide the most conservative treatment, which saves time, expense, and possible discomfort. Furthermore, these visits are key in the detection of gum disease, possible oral cancers and other head and neck related problems.
Q) What is an implant and how long do they last?
Implant restorations are a safe alternative to bridges, partials, or full dentures. They look, feel, and function like natural teeth because they are a titanium anchor attached to the bone. Once the implants are secured, your dentist will attach a handcrafted, permanent crown to each post. The restorations will match your natural teeth and blend seamlessly with your smile. The life of the implant depends on age, oral status, and personal hygiene. With proper maintenance, they last most people a lifetime.
Q) What happens if missing teeth are not replaced?
Missing teeth can lead to a host of other problems, including additional tooth loss. Research shows that if a missing tooth is not replaced, up to 20% of adjacent teeth will fall out in the next 4 to 8 years. Missing teeth also cause remaining teeth to shift, causing spaces between teeth, food impaction, bite collapse, chewing alteration, and TMJ pain. Patients who have lost teeth are also more susceptible to gum disease.
Q) What are the benefits of a digital X-ray over traditional radiographs?
Digital X-rays offer unparalleled benefits over traditional radiographs. They are convenient, safe for the environment, provide a great opportunity for patient education, and can be transferred and copied accurately. Digital X-rays emit about 80 percent less radiation than traditional methods.