At Merrimack Valley Dental Care, we know you’ll have questions about your family’s dental care. We’ve answered some of those we hear most often below. If you still need more information, call us at 603-718-3063 or visit our office at 155 Main Dunstable Road, Suite 220.
- How Often Should I Get a Dental Exam and Cleaning?
- How Can I Tell If I Have Gum Disease?
- What Are Porcelain Veneers, and How Can They Improve My Smile?
- What Are My Options to Replace Missing Teeth?
- What Should I Do If I Knock Out a Tooth?
- How Often Should I Get a Dental Exam and Cleaning? A:
We recommend getting your teeth examined and cleaned two times annually. Regular hygiene visits are essential for keeping dental problems at bay and ensuring your teeth and gums stay healthy. We don’t just check your teeth for cavities and clean them. We also screen you for other problems, including gum disease and oral cancer.
- How Can I Tell If I Have Gum Disease? A:
Many people have periodontal (gum) disease but don’t know it. We look for evidence of gum disease during your routine checkups. If we find any, we treat the problem with a deep cleaning procedure called scaling and root planing.
Gum disease is caused by plaque buildup on your gums. Bacteria in plaque produce toxins that inflame your gums and eventually begin to destroy the bone if left untreated. To prevent gum disease, brush and floss every day, and visit us for regular dental cleanings.
See us ASAP if you have symptoms of periodontal disease:
- Red and puffy gums
- Bleeding gums
- Bad breath that won’t go away
- New spacing between teeth
- Pus around teeth and gums
- Gum recession
- What Are Porcelain Veneers, and How Can They Improve My Smile? A:
Porcelain veneers are thin, individually made “shells” that cover the front surfaces of teeth. They can correct a myriad of issues, including dental discoloration, unwanted spaces between teeth, crowded teeth, chipped teeth, and worn teeth. Durable and stain-resistant, they last a long time with proper care.
Getting veneers usually takes just two visits. We prepare your teeth so the veneers will fit properly and then make an impression of your teeth. We send this impression to a lab where your veneers are made. When the custom-made veneers arrive, we’ll bond them to your teeth.
- What Are My Options to Replace Missing Teeth? A:
You have many options for replacing teeth here, including:
- Dental Implants – Implants can replace one or more missing teeth. When placed into your jaw, implants stimulate the bone like natural tooth roots do; this keeps your jaw healthy. We can restore implants with crowns or a bridge or use them to support dentures.
- Fixed Bridges – This type of bridge is permanently attached to the healthy, natural teeth next to your missing teeth. It doesn’t need to be removed for cleaning. However, we will have to either place crowns on two healthy teeth to keep the bridge in place or place dental implants to support the bridge.
- Dentures – We may recommend dentures if several or all of your teeth are missing. These removable teeth are designed to resemble your original teeth. For added security, dentures can be attached to dental implants.
- What Should I Do If I Knock Out a Tooth? A:
If you knock out a tooth, we may be able to reimplant it. The most important thing is to see us ASAP (preferably within 30 minutes) for emergency dental care. In the meantime:
- Handle your tooth by the crown (top part), never by the root.
- Rinse it carefully with water.
- Try to put the tooth back in its socket right away. Use a tea bag or gauze to keep it in place. Apply ice or a cold compress to relieve pain if needed.
- If you can’t put the tooth back into its socket, put it in a container covered with a bit of saliva or milk to keep it moist. Do not put it in a tissue or cloth.