FAQs

Crowns

What is a crown?

A dental crown is a tooth-shaped “cap” placed over a malformed or broken tooth to restore its strength and appearance. Crowns are made from a variety of materials including porcelain and metals.

Why should I consider having a crown?

A crown can be used to reinforce and support a damaged, cracked, or weak tooth. In addition, a crown can improve the appearance of your teeth… and your smile.

What are the common reasons patients choose crowns?

  • Broken or fractured teeth
  • Decayed teeth
  • Fractured fillings/ fillings that takes up more than 2/3 of the tooth
  • Tooth has a root canal
  • Cosmetic enhancement

Not all crowns are the same:

At Cherry Creek Dentistry, we only use high noble “precious” metals including gold, platinum, and palladium. Non precious “scrap” metals will cost less, but they will corrode or rust in your mouth, creating complications in the long run. In addition, to insure proper fit, we only use the best and most reputable laboratories in United States who custom fabricate each crown by hand to guarantee ultimate results.

Fluoride

Why do people of all ages, especially older adults, need fluoride? Fluoride can save their teeth from decay which can lead to infection and extraction. With the older adult population on the rise and advancements in dentistry, people are keeping their teeth decades longer than past generations. Still, caries (cavities) are a major threat.

What are the benefits of fluoride?

Fluoride helps to…

  • Reverse or stop tooth decay
  • Prevent cavities
  • Maintain strong tooth enamel by inhibiting mineral loss

Who can benefit from fluoride?

Saliva contains natural antibacterial component, but with age, medications, or decrease health, salivary flow is interrupted and cavities can occur more frequently due to increased bacterial levels.

Is fluoridated water safe?

Fluoridation of drinking water is considered one of the greatest achievements in public health―it has helped prevent tooth decay in millions of people and continues to be one of best shields against decay and cavities. In 2012, 74.6% of the US population on public water systems received fluoridated public water, a total of 210 million people. The Healthy People 2020 goal is for 79.6% of the population on public water systems to have access to fluoridated drinking water.

If drinking water isn’t providing enough fluoride, what can people use as an alternative?

Annual or bi-annual in-office fluoride treatments from a dentist, or at-home fluoride treatment gels or toothpastes can be prescribed. There are also many fluoride rinses available over the counter that provide adequate amounts if used once or twice daily.

If drinking water isn’t providing enough fluoride, what can people use as an alternative?

Annual or bi-annual in-office fluoride treatments from a dentist, or at-home fluoride treatment gels or toothpastes can be prescribed. There are also many fluoride rinses available over the counter that provide adequate amounts if used once or twice daily.

IMPLANTS- “ARTIFICIAL TOOTH ROOT”

What is an implant?

A dental implant is surgically placed to replace one or more missing teeth. The implant has three components:

  • Titanium implant – replaces the root of the tooth
  • Abutment - attached internally to implant
  • Crown – cemented to the abutment

How will I benefit from a dental implant?

Benefits include an improved smile and appearance, the enhanced ability to chew and enjoy food, and protection of the other teeth and preservation of the jawbone. In other words, an implant…

  • Becomes a permanent part of the mouth, integrated into the bone
  • Gives support to fixed crown or removable denture
  • Minimizes atrophy of bone caused by missing teeth

Is the implant procedure painful?

Implant surgery requires the use of local anesthesia to minimize discomfort. After implant surgery, patients may experience minimal pain. Our doctors will prescribe pain medicine as well as other routine medications.

How much does an implant cost?

The fee varies according to the number of implants and the complexity of the procedure. Dental implant treatmen usually takes longer. However, they are considered the best tooth replacement option that function like natural teeth.

How long will treatment take?

It varies according to the extent of the procedure and location in the mouth. Typically, treatment takes from six to twelve months or longer to complete an implant case including the prosthetic component.

If you have other questions, our practice will be delighted to answer them.

Oral Cancer

More than 45,000 Americans are diagnosed with oral cancer every year. The death rate for oral cancer is higher than for cervical cancer, Hodgkin's lymphoma, cancer of the testes, or thyroid cancer. When oral cancer is detected early, patients have an 80 to 90% survival rate. Unfortunately, most oral cancers are detected in their later stages.

What are the symptoms of oral cancer?

The most common signs include:

  • A lump or mass inside the mouth or neck
  • Difficulty in swallowing, speaking, or chewing
  • Hoarseness that lasts for a long time
  • Numbness in the mouth or face area
  • Persistent earache
  • Unexplained bleeding in the mouth
  • Ulcers that doesn’t heal within two weeks

What can be done?

Everyone should receive an oral cancer examination on regular basis. At Cherry Creek Dentistry, we perform a comprehensive oral cancer examination during your first visit and each hygiene maintenance visit. We evaluate your face, head and neck. Then we assess your lips, gums, tongue, under the tongue, inside the cheeks, and on the roof of your mouth.

What are some personal behaviors associated with oral cancer?

Tobacco and alcohol use are often contributing factors to oral cancer. Exposure to HPV-16 virus (human papilloma virus) also increases the risk of oral cancer.

If you have any questions about oral cancer, oral cancer examinations or anything related to this subject, please let us know.

Perio Maintenance

The Difference Between Periodontal Maintenance and Routine Cleaning

What is periodontal disease?

Periodontal disease is inflammation and infection of the teeth’s supporting structures, which include gums, bone, root surfaces and ligaments. Symptoms may include:

  • Red and swollen gums
  • Gums that are tender and bleed easily
  • Persistent bad breath and an unpleasant taste in the mouth
  • Teeth that are loose or have shifted
  • Teeth that appear longer due to gum recession
  • Sensitive teeth

How is periodontal disease treated?

Treatment for this disease may require root planing and scaling, which is the removal of diseased deposits from the tooth roots, including tartar, bacteria and toxins. For some patients, these measures constitute complete therapy. For other patients, periodontal surgery will also be necessary. Surgery can include such procedures as pocket reduction, soft tissue grafts or extraction of diseased tooth.

What is periodontal maintenance?

After disease treatment, periodontal maintenance procedures are implemented to help prevent further disease. The maintenance program consists of:

  • Removal of bacterial flora from gum crevices and pockets
  • Polishing and scaling of teeth and root planning
  • Laser therapy
  • Gum irrigation
  • Radiographic assessment
  • Gum and bone examination/ Full-mouth periodontal charting
  • Antibiotic therapy- localized or systemic

How does it differ from regular cleanings?

Regular dental cleanings include scaling and polishing of the tooth crown and shallow pockets around teeth. This cleaning removes plaque—a soft, sticky substance that forms on the teeth—and the hard cement-like substance, known as tartar, that forms from plaque and the minerals in a person’s saliva.

Patients who have undergone treatment for periodontal disease (especially those with bone loss and infection around the teeth) need more than routine hygiene care.

How often should patients receive periodontal maintenance?

Studies show that periodontal disease bacteria can cause destruction to treated tissue and bone if the full depth of gum pockets is not cleaned and free of collected bacteria every 90 days. Thus, more frequent visits are needed than for routine hygiene care. A customized treatment schedule will be determined by your doctor or hygienist to best address each patients needs.

Scaling Root Planing

If periodontal scaling and root planing have been recommended for you or someone in your family, here are some facts you should know

The Problem is Gum Disease

Plaque—the yellowish film that forms on teeth- also accumulates on teeth roots, below the gum line. Over time, this plaque mineralizes to form tartar. Plaque and tartar harbor bacteria, which can infect and irritate gums and underlying bone causing destruction. This condition is known as periodontal disease or gum disease. Periodontal disease is irreversible, but it can usually be controlled, especially if it is detected and treated early. Left untreated, it will eventually cause bone deterioration, loose teeth, and teeth that fall out or must be extracted. Smokers, those withsystemic disease, such as diabetes or heart disease, are more prone to periodontal disease.

Early Detection

Dental professionals can detect the early signs of gum disease with dental x-rays and clinical exams—including the measurement of the gaps or “pockets” the disease creates between teeth and gums.

“Deep-Cleaning” Treatment

To stop the progression of gum disease before it becomes more serious, we use deep-cleaning techniques known as periodontal scaling and root planing. For the patient’s comfort, the treatment is performed in two or more sessions with local anesthetic

Periodontal Scaling

The hygienist or doctor carefully remove plaque and tartar off the surfaces of the roots of the teeth using a manual and ultra-sonic instrument.

Root Planing

The root surfaces of teeth are rough, so after scaling, they are then smoothed, or “planed,” to discourage future accumulation of plaque and tartar and allow healing.

After Treatment

There may be some soreness after the procedure, but will subside with good home care. Greater sensitivity to hot and cold is also likely but this, too, will soon become less noticeable.

Whitening

A brighter and whiter smile is something everyone wants. Whitening is one of the most affordable and least invasive cosmetic procedure available. With safe and effective results, whitening continues to increase in popularity

What are the options for whitening?

There are two major types of whitening available. The right choice for you depends on personal preference and the severity of tooth stains:

  • In-office professional whitening – This involves significantly erasing the stains on teeth in a short period of time using a highly concentrated peroxide gel applied at our office. It is the whitening option with the quickest and most pronounced results.
  • At-home custom-fit trays – We will take an impression of your teeth and make a custom fit trays to fit your teeth exactly, which allows for maximum contact between the whitening gel and the teeth. A custom-made tray also eliminates the amount of gel coming in contact with gum tissue and potentially harming your gums.

Can there be side effects?

The most common side effect of whitening treatment is transient sensitivity of teeth which usually subsides in 24 hours.

X-rays

X-rays are images made by shooting electromagnetic energy beams through internal tissues, bones and gums. We use them to help us diagnose and treat oral health problems. They not only play an important role in detecting cavities but also enable us to examine the jawbone for cancer, evaluate injuries, identify infected areas such as abscesses and cysts, in addition to identifying periodontal disease.

There are several types of dental X-rays:

Bitewing “check-up” X-ray:
Used to assess for cavities between back teeth, bone loss and the condition of old fillings.

Periapical (PA) X-ray: This X-ray enables us to examine the entire tooth for the presence of disease, root decay or abscess.

Full-Mouth Series: This series consists of 16 individual PA X-rays plus four bitewings. Although a full-mouth series can be used to detect specific problems, it also serves as a baseline record for comparison during future exams. A full-mouth series is recommended every three years.

Panoramic X-ray: This X-ray shows a flattened picture of complete mouth, including the sinuses, jaw joints, teeth and surrounding bone. It is most often employed when or planning wisdom teeth extraction or treating temporomandibular joint (TMJ) dysfunction

Frequency of X-ray Exams

Routine X-ray exams are an important part of dental care, but additional X-rays need to be taken only when they are likely to reveal more than can be detected with a visual exam. However, regular X-rays allow for early detection of decay and can prevent the need for additional X-rays in the future.

Safety

There has been significant progress made in reducing exposure to radiation when taking dental X-rays. In addition to lead aprons and shields, technological advances include filters, restrictive X-ray beams (collimators), and digital technology. To compare: four bitewing X-rays are equivalent to 1hour of airplane flight! At Cherry Creek Dentistry, our X ray equipment uses both digital technology and collimators, which reduces your radiation exposure by 75–90%.

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