Frequently Asked Questions

I really do not like visiting the dentist, is there anything you can do to help me relax?

Many people are uncomfortable with visiting the dentist. At East Charlotte Dental, your comfort is our highest priority. Our dental team will take time to answer your questions and help you feel at ease so you can enjoy a relaxing dental visit. For those who need it, Nitrous Oxide is also available.

I brush every day, but my breath is just is not fresh. Is there anything I can do?

Millions of people struggle with halitosis, or bad breath, despite daily teeth brushing. Here is a checklist of procedures that can eliminate the problem: twice daily brushing, daily flossing and tongue cleaning, regular professional cleanings and careful cleaning of any dentures or removable dental appliances. However, if your hygiene is meticulous and the problem persists, there are several solutions.

First, we recommend a plastic tool called a tongue scraper that cleans away bacterial build-up on your tongue and significantly alleviates odor. Or we can recommend a specially prepared rinse or toothpaste designed to actually break the odor-causing sulfur bonds that cause bad breath. Finally, we may suspect a systemic or internal problem such as an infection or underlying condition, in which case we may recommend a visit with your family physician or specialist to identify the cause.

I know I need X-rays, but I’d prefer to not be exposed to unnecessary radiation. Do you offer digital X-rays?

Yes, we do offer digital X-rays. Digital X-rays use less radiation and are safer for you than traditional film X-rays. You will find that in our dental practice, we research the latest trends in technology to find the solutions that promote your overall health, safety and comfort.

How does fluoride help my teeth?

Research shows that fluoride reduces cavities in both children and adults by halting tooth decay. It also helps repair the early stages of tooth decay before the decay becomes visible. Interestingly, many people continue to be misinformed about fluoride and fluoridation. Fluoride is a safe chemical component when used correctly. When your dentist applies fluoride to your teeth, usually in the form of a fluoride varnish, gel, or foam, that fluoride is more concentrated than the fluoride contained in toothpaste or mouthwash. The ADA recommends that dental professionals use any of the professional strength, fluoride varnishes, gels or foam products carrying the ADA Seal of Acceptance.

My gums bleed after I brush. Is this something to be concerned about?

It is certainly not desirable to have bleeding gums following brushing. However, the condition may or may not require attention, depending on the source of the problem. Bleeding gums can be caused by any of the following: improper, rough “scrubbing” instead of gentle, circular brushing motions; using a hard-bristled tooth brush instead of a soft one; plaque and/or tartar build-up below the gum line; or gum sensitivity due to gingivitis or periodontal disease. If this problem persists despite correct brushing and flossing methods, or occurs every time you brush, contact our office to set up an evaluation appointment.

My gums bleed. Why is this?

Gums affected by periodontal disease become red and inflamed, often bleeding during brushing or flossing. Timely treatment can reverse these conditions. However, if these conditions are ignored, your periodontal disease can worsen, becoming periodontitis, a condition much more difficult to treat.

What is periodontal disease?

Periodontitis affects your gums, bone and teeth in a manner that cannot be reversed. To prevent tooth loss, you may require more extensive, specialized treatment from your general dentist or even a periodontist. If left untreated, periodontitis results in tooth loss – teeth either fall out on their own or must be extracted. If you don’t catch periodontitis in its early stages, you may require extensive surgery to save your teeth and may put yourself at risk for other serious health problems.

According to Caesy Dental Education, “Ailments associated with periodontal disease include respiratory disease, pneumonia, strokes, ulcers, difficult-to-control diabetes, low birth weight babies, and infective endocarditis, a dangerous infection of the heart valves. Researchers recently discovered that this chronic infection in your mouth creates an open doorway for plaque bacteria to enter the blood stream. These bacteria – Streptococcus Sanguis – may cause blood clots that can block your arteries and even trigger a heart attack.”

How do sealants protect teeth?

A sealant is a plastic material that is usually applied to the chewing surfaces of the back teeth—premolars and molars. This plastic resin bonds into the depressions and grooves (pits and fissures) of the chewing surfaces of the back teeth. The sealant acts as a barrier, protecting enamel from plaque and acids while guarding against disease-causing bacteria.

Thorough brushing and flossing help remove food particles and plaque from the smooth surfaces of teeth. However, toothbrush bristles cannot reach all the way into the depressions and grooves to efficiently extract food and plaque. Sealants protect these vulnerable areas by “sealing out” plaque and food.

Sometimes when I chew I get a sharp pain. What can I do to correct this?

Most dental pain brought on by chewing is caused by a fracture, or crack, in the tooth. Sometimes the pain can be relieved with a crown. However, a fractured tooth can be serious and may require additional treatments to correct. You want to correct the pain as soon as possible to prevent further damage to the tooth. Contact us today to schedule a visit.

Do you offer tooth whitening at your office?

If you are happy with the alignment and spacing of your teeth, a tooth whitening procedure may be all that separates you from a bright, white smile. Tooth whitening is safe, effective and long lasting.

Your custom home whitening kit involves a special tray that is customized to fit over your teeth. You also receive prescription whitening gel, which is inserted into the tray before you wear it. Your East Charlotte Dental dentist will provide you with detailed instructions about how long you should wear the tray each day. You should expect the entire home whitening process to take between two and four weeks, leaving you with a radiant smile.

What ages of patients do you see at your office?

We are glad to see patients of all ages, from toddlers to grandparents. Sometimes for the little children that need a lot of dental treatment, we may recommend a pediatric specialist.