Sometimes all you need is the answer to a question. We hope that we can help you by providing answers to some frequently asked questions in one convenient space. If you can’t find an answer here or need something explained, don’t hesitate to call our office at 650-592-6396 we’re here for you!
What if I have an emergency?
Don’t panic! We will be glad to see you outside of normal business hours, even on the weekend. Call our office at 650-592-6396 and follow the prompt to leave a message for our on-call dentist in San Carlos, California.
There are steps you can take in an emergency to save a damaged or dislodged tooth. Make sure you follow these tips so we can get your smile fixed as easily as possible.
- A tooth has been knocked out: hold the tooth by the crown, not the root! Don’t remove any attached tissue, and rinse the tooth in warm water. You can put it in a cup of milk to help preserve it, or place it inside your cheek once it is washed.
- A tooth has been fractured: try to recover any pieces that you can. Put them in a cup for safekeeping. If there are sharp bits of the tooth poking you, you can cover them with gauze or wax to prevent a cut.
- Severe toothache: take an over-the-counter pain reliever and ice the area to reduce swelling and pain. You should also rinse your mouth and check for anything lodged in your mouth that could be causing the pain.
How will I be able to pay for my treatment?
We offer a variety of financial options. You can pay with cash, check, or credit card, and we also accept all major insurance providers. For some treatments, we will be able to work with you and offer in-house financing to make sure that your treatment is affordable to you.
We also offer CareCredit, a credit card-like program that allows you to pay your health care costs in installments. To find out more about CareCredit, visit them on the web.
How safe are fillings?
Dental fillings have been in use for a very long time—in fact, the use of dental amalgam is recorded as far back as China’s Tang Dynasty in a medical text from 659! Until recently, dental fillings have mostly been made of a metal amalgam containing mercury, silver, tin, copper, and other metals. While these fillings have been effective for a long time, they have a metallic look, and many people aren’t pleased by the appearance of amalgam fillings.
Dr. Ghina Morad uses the newest filling technology available, which is a metal-free polymer that is not only safe, but it looks just like your natural tooth! Fillings are safe, effective, and are now more invisible than ever.
How can I tell if I have a cavity?
There are a wide variety of symptoms associated with cavities, and some don’t even have symptoms at all. If you notice any of the following, you should call our office to schedule an appointment as soon as possible:
- Sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures
- Pain when biting down
- Discoloration of a tooth (may be brown, gray, or tan)
- Visible pits or holes
These are just some of the symptoms of possible tooth decay and cavities. If you aren’t sure, don’t wait! Call us today at 650-592-6396.
Do root canals really hurt?
You’ve probably heard people say that root canals are painful, which is the opposite of true! When you are getting a root canal, you have infected dental pulp that is causing pain, and a root canal is performed to clean out the infected pulp while sealing and protecting your tooth from further decay. We also locally numb the area, so you won’t feel anything during the procedure.
You may have a bit of sensitivity for a short period of time, but it won’t last. The entire process is virtually pain-free!
Is gum disease reversible?
Yes! Both gingivitis, the early stage of gum disease, and full-fledged periodontal disease are treatable. Gingivitis treatment is relatively easy, and this stage can often be reversed by simply improving your oral hygiene habits.
We are able to treat periodontal disease as well and have multiple methods available. From root planing and scaling to gingivoplasty, you can find out about all of our periodontal treatments on our gum disease treatment page.
What is plaque? How does it harm my teeth?
Plaque is a sticky film that builds up in your mouth throughout the day. It contains millions of bacteria that feed on sugars in the foods you eat. As the bacteria consume sugars, they produce an acidic byproduct that can eat away at the enamel on your teeth. Once the enamel is ruined, your teeth become prone to decay. Plaque can also lead to gingivitis, an inflammation of the gums, which is the first step in periodontal disease.
To ensure that you keep plaque at bay, you should brush twice a day along with flossing. Plaque that is left behind can continue to build up, leading to tartar, tooth decay, and costly treatments.
Do I really need to floss?
Absolutely! When you brush your teeth, you are removing plaque that builds up in the easy to reach areas, but it’s impossible to brush between your teeth. If you don’t remove the plaque and food residue that builds up between your teeth, you’ll probably get cavities.
What is the best way to care for my teeth at home?
To keep your teeth in pristine shape, you should brush them at least twice a day, as well as floss in the evening. You should also make sure that your brushing technique is good, so here are some tips to make sure you’re not being too rough on your teeth and gums.
- Brush using a circular motion
- Brush all of the surfaces of your teeth—front, back, and chewing surface
- Don’t brush too hard! This will wear out your toothbrush and can damage your teeth
- Brush for 2-3 minutes.
- Replace your toothbrush every three to four months
When flossing, make sure that you get between each of your teeth. This will remove plaque and help clean areas that your toothbrush can’t reach.
How often should I see the dentist?
For most patients, seeing the dentist for a regular cleaning every six months is the best way to prevent tooth decay and other problems. Maintaining your dental health is far easier than costly treatments to restore your teeth later on!
For some patients, we may recommend more frequent cleanings and exams. This may be the case if you have had trouble with your oral health in the past or have presented symptoms that need to be closely monitored.