Commonly Asked Dental Questions
1I have some old silver fillings which are beginning to look bad. What can be done to improve them.
Silver amalgam fillings, which are composed of 50% mercury and 50% silver alloy eventually need to be replaced. It may surprise you to know that the average life span of a silver filling is five to eight years. Your dentist can tell you when they appear to NEED to be replaced due to leakage, breakdown or recurrent decay. If your concern is strictly COSMETIC, there are many new methods available to replace the fillings with beautiful, functional long lasting restorations. Such things as white filling materials, porcelain inlays, crowns and veneers may be used to give you the smile you are seeking. There is currently a great deal of interest in new reinforced hybrid materials. These beautiful resin materials may be reinforced with fibers, similar to fiberglass, and used in very conservative inlays and bridges without having to grind away a whole healthy tooth.
2I would like to have my teeth whitened. There are so many products and ads for whiteners that it is hard to decide which is best. what do you recommend?
You are correct. There are many products and techniques available. Some work great and some don't work at all. The various over the counter products give the least predictable results.To get a really great result you should probably use one of the products sold through dental offices which utilize custom made trays for home application of a bleaching gel. There are several great ones out there. Our favorite is Nite White® Excel. Besides giving a great result, this product has overcome the sensitivity problem seen with some of the other products . We also get questions about "laser whitening". With this method a laser is used as a light source to activate the bleaching gel which is applied to your teeth in the dental office. It may be necessary to use the at home trays in addition to this initial lengthy treatment. Side effects can include sensitivity to treated teeth.
3 I am missing several teeth. A friend told me that she recently had implants to replace her missing teeth and is very happy.What are implants?
Dental implants are a wonderful way to replace missing teeth when certain conditions exist. Such things as your overall general health and the length of time you have been missing your teeth must be considered. The replacement of missing teeth using dental implants frequently requires a team approach. After your dentist does a thorough examination and treatment plan the surgical phase of treatment takes place. In most cases a periodontist or an oral surgeon will put the implant(s), the artificial root(s) into the jaw. When healing is complete, usually after 4-6 months, The tooth or bridge segment can be placed on top of the healed implants by a general dentist or a prosthodontist . Some dentists are trained to place the surgical part of the implant as well as the prosthetic or tooth part. You should ask your dentist if you are a good candidate for implants and ask for a referral if he or she doesn't do them.
4When I visited my dentist for my last checkup, she told me that I have impacted wisdom teeth and she wants to remove them. They are not bothering me. Should I see a specialist if I decide to have them removed? What should I do?
Having regular dental checkups with x-rays allows you to learn about potential problems and have them corrected BEFORE they begin to bother you. There are a number of reasons for recommending removal of unerupted or impacted teeth. Your dentist may have seen that these teeth could cause problems for the adjacent teeth if left in place. There is also the possibility that you could develop such things as a cyst or abscess if left in place. General dentists who provide any specialty service such as root canal treatment, braces, oral surgery or periodontal surgery are required by law to adhere to the same standard of care provided by a specialist Your dentist should be happy to talk more with you about this. If you still have questions, you might want to see another dentist for a second opinion.
5I just recently went to a new dentist for a checkup and cleaning and asked him to check a cap that that was put on one of my front teeth by my former dentist. He informed me that I did not have a cap on any of my teeth. I know my last dentist fixed a broken front tooth and said he capped it. Who should I believe?
You have just experienced one of a number of common misunderstandings we see in dentistry today. Terminology used in dentistry is not 100% uniform throughout our profession. Both dentists were probably "correct". The word "cap" as used in dentistry by different dentists can refer to a number of different things. A pulp cap refers to a calcium containing dressing placed under a deep filling to stimulate healing. A full crown, made by a dental laboratory which completely covers the outside of your tooth is frequently called a cap. A partly broken tooth may be built up by your dentist in the office with a bonded filling material. This is called a cap or "capping" by some dentists. This sounds like what you probably had done.
6It has been quite a while since I have been to a dentist because I cannot stand the sound of the drill. I think I have a new cavity but am reluctant to call a dentist . What can I do? I don't want a toothache and certainly don't want to lose my tooth.
Dental technology has come a long way in recent years. If you have a new cavity that requires a filling, there is "new" air abrasive equipment which replaces the drill for removing decay. It is quick, silent and in most cases you do not need a shot of anesthetic because there is no heat or vibration to cause pain. Air abrasion theory has been around in dentistry since the fifties but has only recently become practical to use because of downsizing of equipment and the development of filling materials which can be used with the new way of preparing teeth for fillings. Our patients love it. For youngsters who are experiencing their first cavity, it is a great way to go - no noise, no needle, no pain! It won't work for all cavities, but with your dislike of the drill, you should certainly see a dentist who uses this technology.
Testimonials From Our Patients
My wife and I highly recommend Ramon as he is a fantastic dentist and with prices and quality that cannot be beat in our opinion. I had four caps done for the price of about one cap back in Florida and Ramon had a nice bridge made up for my wife for less than one fifth of what it would have cost us in Florida with our insurance. He does great work and he has great prices. Over the past few years I have sent many expats to him since he helped us and everyone has responded with a thank you to us for recommending Ramon to them. Great dentist, great prices, and no additional mark up because we are not Filipinos. Lee and Nila G. Florida USA
Dear Ramon Just a quick letter as I would like to thank you and let you know how glad I am to have found your office. As you know I have been coming to visit your surgery for the last 3 years and will continue to do so. I am very comfortable with you and your lovely wife and you have been very sensitive to my individual needs. Again thanks for a job well done and I will drop by again next April for a checkup. Regards Robert Address removed