GENERAL DENTAL HEALTH

General dentistry is the practice of diagnosing, treating and preventing diseases, conditions and disorders of the teeth, mouth, jaw and gums. Poor oral health can have a significant impact on your overall health. Read on to learn the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions we receive about general dentistry.

Why is seeing the dentist regularly so important?

It is essential that you see your DC Dental Spa dentist regularly to keep your mouth and teeth healthy. Regular dental care prevents the accumulation of tooth decay, protects your gums against periodontal disease that can cause tooth and bone loss, improves the appearance of your smile and helps your teeth look bright and clean. Seeing your dentist twice a year for checkups also prevents bad breath and strengthens your teeth so your smile stays strong, healthy and beautiful for life.

How can I care for my teeth between regular dental visits?

To maintain your oral health, brush your teeth a minimum of twice a day and floss at least once daily. Brush your teeth with a toothpaste made with fluoride to prevent cavities, avoid sugary foods and tobacco, and don’t forget to brush your tongue to remove bacteria and food particles. Change your toothbrush once every three months, and remember to schedule your routine appointments every six months!

What is a cavity?

Caused by tooth decay, cavities are small holes inside the teeth. They form when plaque builds up on a tooth’s exterior and combines with starches and sugars from food. The result is an acid that damages the protective coating of your tooth. Cavities can be treated with fillings, a synthetic material that fills the hole and prevents the further spread of decay.

COSMETIC DENTISTRY

Cosmetic dentistry can improve both the health and beauty of your smile. Read on to learn the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions we receive about this practice.

Who is cosmetic dentistry for?

Cosmetic dentistry is for anyone who wants to improve the health and appearance of their smile. Cosmetic dentistry procedures can improve your self-image, confidence level and emotional well-being.

What are examples of cosmetic dentistry procedures?

At DC Dental Spa, we offer a full range of cosmetic dentistry procedures, including teeth whitening, cosmetic veneers and other treatments that repair, replace, enhance or straighten teeth that are discolored, misshapen, misaligned or damaged.

Are cosmetic dentistry procedures expensive?

The cost of cosmetic dentistry is likely not as expensive as you may think. The costs of cosmetic dentistry procedures vary based on the treatment you desire, but we make every effort to make our treatments affordable. Many of our patients consider cosmetic dentistry an investment in their confidence and future.

Can’t I whiten my teeth at home?

You can, but the results will simply not be as good as if you came in for a professional in-office whitening. Our special whitening treatments produce results quickly and can remove stains that at-home whitenings cannot eliminate. If you truly want a whiter, brighter smile, choose professional in-office whitening.

What are dental veneers?

Dental veneers are very thin shells made of porcelain. We use veneers to improve the appearance of teeth that are damaged, discolored or misshapen. Individually made, veneers look and feel just like natural teeth, and they are applied permanently to your natural teeth. This makes dental veneers a great alternative to more invasive solutions, like dental crowns.

DENTISTRY FOR CHILDREN

At DC Dental Spa, we make every effort to make our smallest and youngest patients feel comfortable before, during and after procedures. Our staff is trained and experienced working with children, and we take special measures to set them up for a lifetime of good oral health.

When should my child first see the dentist?

Our recommendation is that you make an appointment with DC Dental Spa when your child gets his or her first tooth or by the time he or she turns one.

What will happen during my child's first dental visit?

We usually keep the first visit short and simple for children. Your child’s DC Dental Spa dentist will get to know your child and provide you with some dental care information. The dentist will check the health and placement of your child’s teeth and examine the mouth for potential jaw and gum problems. The dentist may do some cleaning, and he or she will answer all of your questions about child tooth development and teaching your child good dental habits.

What can I do to prepare my child for their first visit?

Keep a positive attitude before you bring your child to the dentist for the first time. Show your child our website and look at pictures of our office and staff together, talk about the importance of dental health and remind your child that the dentist is a helper.

How often should we schedule appointments for my child?

Children, like adults, should see the dentist for regular checkups twice each year.

SLEEP APNEA DENTISTRY

Millions of people suffer from the negative effects of sleep apnea. Luckily, sleep apnea dentistry provides solutions to this common condition that can reduce symptoms and help you rest better at night.

What is dental sleep apnea therapy?

In dental sleep apnea therapy, we use oral appliances to reduce the symptoms of sleep apnea. We select, fit and use oral appliances that are specially designed to open the airways while you sleep.

What types of oral appliances are available?

The most commonly used oral appliance for sleep apnea is a mandibular repositioning appliance (MRA). These appliances look a bit like mouth guards used during sports, and they reposition the lower jaw and gently pull the tongue forward to open the airways.

Tongue retaining appliances (TRA) use a suction bulb to stop the tongue from collapsing and obstructing the airways while sleeping.

What are the benefits of using oral appliances for sleep apnea?

Oral appliance therapy is non-invasive and completely reversible, and most patients find the appliances easy to wear and comfortable. The majority of patients fully adjust to wearing the appliances within a couple of weeks. Oral appliances are also much smaller and more convenient than CPAP machines, making them ideal for traveling.

Am I a candidate for sleep apnea dentistry?

You may be a candidate for sleep apnea dentistry if you have mild to moderate sleep apnea and if your symptoms have not improved with a CPAP machine.

If you are suffering from sleep apnea, contact the team at DC Dental Spa today to schedule a consultation and learn more about oral appliance therapy. Sleep apnea dentistry may be the key to helping you sleep better at night and feel your best during the day!

DENTAL IMPLANTS

Dental implants are an effective, long-lasting solution to missing, damaged or decayed teeth. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions we receive about dental implants.

Am I a good candidate for dental implants?

Dental implants may be an ideal solution for you if your overall health is good, you have adequate jawbone to support an implant and you are well enough to undergo the procedures necessary for routine tooth extractions.

How long do dental implants last?

With proper care and good oral hygiene, dental implants can last a lifetime.

How can I care for my dental implants?

Treat dental implants the same way you do your natural teeth. This means that your dental implants should be brushed and flossed daily, and you should see your DC Dental Spa dentist twice a year for regular checkups and cleanings.

Does getting dental implants hurt?

Your dentist will administer anesthesia during the surgical placement of dental implants to minimize discomfort. Most patients report only minimal discomfort following the procedure, and the vast majority feel well enough to work the next day. The discomfort you experience will depend on the amount of treatment needed.

Are dental implants expensive?

The cost of dental implants depending on your needs, but we make every effort to keep our procedures and treatments affordable.

Are dental implants better than dentures?

Dental implants are now the preferred solution for multiple missing teeth over dentures. Dental implants are stronger than dentures because they are permanently anchored to the jaw, they are more comfortable and they will not slip, click or cause discomfort the way dentures do.