Frequently Ask Question
Q: HOW SAFE ARE DENTAL X-RAYS?
A: There is very little risk in dental X-rays. We are especially careful to limit the amount of radiation to which children are exposed. Lead aprons and high-speed film are used to ensure safety and minimize the amount of radiation.
Digital radiography, or computerized X-rays, is part of the high-tech services that we provide to our patients by utilizing the Schick X-ray system. Digital X-rays use less radiation than traditional film. Instead of a piece of film, the system’s sensor is placed in the mouth to capture an X-ray. The Schick system uses a sensor with rounded corners and a smooth casing that makes the process of taking X-rays more comfortable for patients and more efficient for our staff. Another benefit is time savings. There’s no waiting — as soon as the X-ray is taken, it appears immediately on the computer monitor. And because of the enhancements in the digital X-ray software program, we are better able to diagnose and treat conditions. Since the images can be enlarged, patients are able to clearly visualize and understand the diagnosis and proposed treatment plan. We are pleased to offer digital X-rays and other technologies so that our patients gain a positive dental experience.
Q: HOW CAN PARENTS HELP PREVENT TOOTH DECAY?
A: Parents should take their children to the dentist regularly, beginning with the eruption of the first tooth. Then we can recommend a specific program of brushing, flossing, and other treatments for parents to supervise and teach to their children. These home treatments, when added to regular dental visits and a balanced diet, will help give your child a lifetime of healthy habits.
Q: ARE YOU TAKING NEW PATIENTS?
A: YES. Because our patients love us they often refer their friends and family because they want to see them receive the same level of care. We are proud of the confidence our patients have placed in us by being a referral-only-based practice.
Q: WHAT HAPPENS AT MY FIRST VISIT?
A: In order to treat each and every patient as an individual with unique dental needs, it is vital to completely assess their current oral health. We perform an oral cancer screening, and we look at muscles and joints that open and close the mouth. We will look at your teeth, and your gums and bone that hold the teeth (the periodontium). We then take photos and x-rays when necessary. With this information we can determine the type of treatment that is right for you.
Q: HOW CAN I MAKE MY TEETH WHITER?
A: There are several methods to make teeth whiter. We can “whiten” them in the office or place porcelain veneers. The best whitening technique has been dentist-prescribed whitening systems; they change the color of teeth with minimal (if any) side effects. Veneers are an option for more difficult cases. There are many other ways to improve the appearance of your smile. If you are interested in a cosmetic consultation to assess your cosmetic needs please let us know.
Q: WHAT KIND OF TOOTHPASTE IS BEST?
A: The most important part of brushing your teeth is the technique used. Toothpaste is important for what it supplies: fluoride and tartar control. Be careful of the whitening brands because some are abrasive and they can remove enamel from teeth.
Q: SHOULD I USE AN ELECTRIC OR MANUAL TOOTHBRUSH?
A: After testing numerous brushes, we have concluded that electric, if used, is the best. We usually recommend electric toothbrushes because of their design, ease of use, and availability. There are numerous models on the market that work well. If you have a question about a specific brand, please ask us.
Q: WHAT DO YOU OFFER FOR THE NERVOUS, ANXIOUS PATIENT?
A: We realize that even though dental care has come a long way in terms of patient comfort, there are still those with concerns and fears. Dental care should not be an unpleasant experience so we provide a full array of options for those patients. We offer several techniques to help you relax so please ask us about the different methods we offer.
Q: WHAT IS COSMETIC DENTISTRY?
A: Cosmetic Dentistry is the art and science of designing wonderful smiles. It involves all aspects of general dentistry with a special emphasis on enhancing esthetics of your smile with the artistry of the dentist and specialized dental materials and techniques.
Q: WHAT TYPES OF PROBLEMS DOES COSMETIC DENTISTRY IMPROVE?
A: If your teeth are discolored or permanently stained, or if gaps or chips make you feel self-conscious and stop you from smiling fully, or if your teeth are crooked, worn down or you have an uneven smile, Cosmetic Dentistry can help.
Q: WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES OF PORCELAIN VENEERS OVER ORTHODONTIC TREATMENT?
A: Orthodontic treatment takes 18 months to 2 years while porcelain veneers can correct crooked teeth in two visits.
Q: IS IT REALLY POSSIBLE TO KEEP MY TEETH AND GUMS HEALTHY FOR A LIFETIME?
A: The answer is definitely, yes! With routine preventive dental care in combination with excellent oral hygiene, your teeth could be with you for life. Be sure you are visiting Dr. Herman as necessary and are caring for your teeth and gums as recommended.
Q: HOW DO YOU GET RID OF SPACES BETWEEN TEETH?
A: Porcelain veneers, bonding, or crowns may be used on more severe cases.
Q: HOW LONG WILL I NEED TO RECOVER – WHEN CAN I RETURN TO WORK?
A: There is no downtime, so with your new smile you can return to work and your normal activities right away.
Q: HOW LONG WILL MY NEW SMILE LAST?
A: The duration of the results is specific to the treatment performed and even then there are multiple variables. In general, bonding lasts 3-5 years, while porcelain veneers last in excess of 10 years.
Q: CAN I AFFORD COSMETIC DENTISTRY?
A: The added expense of cosmetic dentistry often prevents people from making an investment in the health of their teeth or improvements in their smile. But cost doesn’t have to be a prohibitive factor. We can work with you to create a plan that addresses your immediate, short-term, and longer-term goals and also fits your budget.
Q: IS COSMETIC DENTISTRY COVERED BY INSURANCE?
A: Since most cosmetic dental surgery is elective, insurance plans usually don’t cover it. But there are exceptions, and if your treatment is medically necessary you may be covered for a portion of it. Our office will be happy to speak with you to figure out if a portion of your expenses may be covered.
Q: IS TEETH WHITENING SAFE?
A: Yes. The active ingredient in the Brite Smile Advanced whitening gel is hydrogen peroxide, which has been safely used by the dental community to whiten teeth for many years. Brite Smile does not change underlying structure of the teeth, nor does it damage fillings or tooth enamel.
Q: CAN EXISTING PORCELAIN CROWNS OR VENEERS BE BLEACHED?
A: No, porcelain does not change color when exposed to dental bleach.
Q: DO YOU HAVE BEFORE AND AFTER PHOTOS OF YOUR PATIENTS THAT I MAY VIEW?
A: We have a variety of before and after photos covering many procedures that you may view online in our Smile Gallery as well as in our office during your consultation.
Q: MOST OF MY TEETH ARE BUNCHED TOO NEAR THE FRONT OF MY MOUTH. IS THERE A WAY TO GET RID OF THAT CROWDED LOOK?
A: With removable orthodontics, cosmetic contouring, and/or bonding and veneering, teeth can be reshaped and polished for long-lasting results: a stronger, less crowded-looking appearance.
Q: MY BACK TEETH HAVE A LOT OF SILVER AND GOLD. IS THERE A LESS OBVIOUS WAY TO FILL CAVITIES?
A: New advances in tooth-colored porcelain and composite materials not only allow fillings to go unnoticed, but are stronger and more wear-resistant than silver and gold.
Q: THERE’S A BIG GAP BETWEEN MY TWO FRONT TEETH. CAN THAT BE CHANGED?
A: Yes. Bonded veneers can close gaps and help create the smile you desire. Bonded resins generally require one office visit, while porcelain veneering takes two. Bonded veneers, along with good oral hygiene and a healthy lifestyle, are effective ways to enhance a smile. Dr. Herman can explain the various techniques and help determine which is best suited to your specific needs.
Q: HOW CAN I MAKE MY DISCOLORED TEETH WHITER?
A: Tooth whitening, the process for lightening discolored teeth, can be accomplished by Dr. Herman in the office or with supervised, at-home systems. Teeth can be whitened to the desired shade over several office visits.
Q: I DON’T LIKE MY TEETH OR MY SMILE – WHAT CAN I DO?
A: A wide variety of options are available to improve how your teeth work and the way your smile looks. Check out our “Cosmetic Procedures” section to see how other patients with similar problems were helped.
Q: WHAT ARE SOME OF THE BENEFITS OF COSMETIC DENTISTRY?
A: A great smile should improve your self-confidence, which can have a positive impact on the social and professional aspects of your life. Cosmetic dentistry is not just about pretty smiles though. New techniques and materials are available for back teeth as well as the ones you see when you smile. Now your mouth can look great, get healthy and function better at the same time.