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FAQ

For Adults

Why do regular dental visits matter?

Regular dental visits are important because they can help spot oral health problems early on when treatment is likely to be simpler and more affordable. They also help prevent many oral problems from developing in the first place. Visiting your dentist regularly is also important because some diseases or medical conditions have symptoms that can appear in the mouth.

Here are 15 signs you should see a dentist:

Your teeth are sensitive to hot or cold
Your gums are puffy and/or they bleed when you brush or floss
You have fillings, crowns, dental implants, dentures, etc.
You don’t like the way your smile or teeth look
You have persistent bad breath or bad taste in your mouth
You are pregnant
You have pain or swelling in your mouth, face or neck
You have difficulty chewing or swallowing
You have a family history of gum disease or tooth decay
You have a medical condition such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, eating disorders, or are HIV positive
Your mouth is often dry
You smoke or use other tobacco products
You are undergoing medical treatment such as radiation, chemotherapy or hormone replacement therapy
Your jaw sometimes pops or is painful when opening and closing, chewing or when you first wake up; you have an uneven bite
You have a spot or sore that doesn’t look or feel right in your mouth and it isn’t going away.

What if I don’t have any of these symptoms—do I still need to go to the dentist?

Yes. Even if you don’t have any symptoms, you can still have oral health problems that only a dentist can diagnose. Regular dental visits will also help prevent problems from developing. Continuity of care is an important part of any health plan and dental health is no exception. Keeping your mouth healthy is an essential piece of your overall health. It’s also important to keep your dentist informed of any changes in your overall health since many medical conditions can affect your oral health too.

How often do I have to go to the dentist?

There is no one-size-fits-all dental treatment. Some people need to visit the dentist once or twice a year; others may need more visits. You are a unique individual, with a unique smile and unique needs when it comes to keeping your smile healthy.

Here are some tips to help you take care of your smile:

Healthy habits. Brushing twice a day for two minutes and flossing daily are essential for everyone, no matter how unique your mouth is. It’s the best way to fight tooth decay and gum disease.

Build a relationship. Continuity of care is an important part of any health plan and dental health is no exception. When your dentist sees you regularly, he or she is in a good position to catch oral problems early. For instance, catching gum disease when it’s still reversible, or cavities when they are small and are more easily treated.

Keeping your mouth healthy is an essential piece of your overall health. It’s important to keep your dentist informed of any changes in your overall health as well.

Talk about it! Only your dentist can determine what the best treatment plan is for you. Have questions about your oral health or certain dental procedures? Start a conversation. Ask your dentist to explain step-by-step. Dentists love having satisfied, healthy patients.

What is the difference between a DDS and a DMD?

If you’re looking to find a dentist you may notice that while most are listed with a “DDS”, some may be listed as “DMD”. They both mean the same thing—your dentist graduated from an accredited dental school. The DDS (Doctor of Dental Surgery) and DMD (Doctor of Dental Medicine) are the same degrees. Dentists who have a DMD or DDS have the same education. The level of education and clinical training required to earn a dental degree, and the high academic standards of dental schools are on par with those of medical schools. Upon completion of their training, dentists must pass both a rigorous national written exam and a state or regional clinical licensing exam in order to practice. In order to keep their licenses, they must meet continuing education requirements for the remainder of their careers so that they may stay up to date on the latest scientific and clinical developments.

Do you have payment plan options?

We do have a partnership with Care Credit, in case you need help with payment arrangements. You can fill out an online Care Credit application here.

Orthodontics

What is an orthodontist and when should I choose one?

An orthodontist is a dentist that has attended additional schooling to specialize in the correction of the bite and the alignment of the teeth. The recommendation from the AAO (American Association of Orthodontists) is that a child be seen by an orthodontist by age seven or earlier if an orthodontic problem is detected. Here are a few scenarios which would indicate it is time to schedule an appointment:

Early or late loss of baby teeth
Difficulty chewing or biting
Mouth breathing
Finger sucking or other oral habits
Crowding, misplaced or blocked-out teeth
Jaws that shift, make sounds, protrude or retrude
Speech difficulty
Biting the cheek or biting into the roof of the mouth
Protruding teeth
Teeth that meet in an abnormal way or don’t meet at all
Facial imbalance or asymmetry
Grinding or clenching of teeth

When is the correct age to begin orthodontic treatment?

There is no specific time to begin orthodontics. The inception of orthodontic treatment depends on many factors: the type of the problem, the development of primary and secondary teeth, the amount of space or lack thereof, maturity and many other variables.

Why are so many kids young kids wearing braces?

Research has shown the most orthodontic corrections can be accomplished in one phase of treatment when the permanent teeth are in or emerging. In some instances early corrections are required to avoid damage to teeth that may be colliding. Early treatment often relates to the philosophy of the orthodontist and their training.

Do habits like thumb sucking mean my child will definitely need braces?

Thumb sucking, if excessive, will create problems due to the forces applied to the teeth and supporting structures. The longer the child’s thumb habit continues the more likely it will impact the permanent teeth as they emerge around 5-6 years old. If the impact of thumb sucking is evident braces will be required to correct it.

How do you determine what treatment is necessary?

Orthodontic records such as x-rays, photos and a thorough exam are required to make a diagnosis. After discussions with the patient or parent about the findings treatment options can be considered. Treatments are often straightforward but sometimes are not. Once the problems are understood a proper course of treatment can be designed.

What is Invisalign®?

Invisalign® are clear plastic coverings/trays called “aligners” that fit precisely on the teeth. There are a series of these aligners that move the teeth incrementally, with each successive aligner being worn approximately two weeks. When you have your consultation it can be discussed whether Invisalign® is the best option for your or your child’s treatment.

Do adults wear braces?

Yes, adults that wish to have straight teeth and a correct bite wear braces or do Invisalign®. In fact adult patients make up about 30% nationally of all orthodontic patients. To learn more about adult treatment it is best to call our office for more information. In orthodontics it’s never “too late” to start treatment.

Do braces hurt?

The process of applying braces does not hurt. When the teeth begin to move there is a modest physiological inflammation that is generated. This will create some tenderness in the first few days after the braces are placed. This soreness typically seen during the “break in” period is only temporary and within days the patient can return to their normal routines.

Will braces interfere with playing sports or a wind instrument?

Typically no, but mouth guards for sports are required to protect the teeth and lips from impact. For those musical patients we have found that they accommodate quickly to braces after adjusting to the initial placement.

Do I need to see my dentist when I am in braces or Invisalign®?

Yes, hygiene is very important; even more so during orthodontic treatment. It is important to see your dentist for regular cleanings and check-ups to make sure the teeth and gums remain healthy.

How long will treatment take?

Treatment time depends on the severity of the case, and the compliance with instructions given during treatment such as wearing rubber bands. The typical case runs between 18 months and two years.

How often will I need office visits?

After the initial set-up which may require multiple visits over the first month or two, the appointments are usually spread about 6 weeks apart.

Do braces cause cavities?

Hygiene is very important. Braces do not cause cavities but they do make cleaning the teeth more demanding. Dr. Schader will monitor the health of the teeth and gums, but it is imperative that the patient is being seen regularly by their dentist. We spend a lot of time educating our patients on the care of their teeth while in treatment, and provide the best tools available to make patient homecare a success.

How do I keep my teeth from moving back after treatment is completed?

Retainers are utilized after treatment to prevent the teeth from moving back to their original position. The frequency and length of time retainers are worn, the less likely the teeth are to move. We offer many different types of retainers, and at the end of treatment those options will be discussed and the right retainer will be chosen for you or your child’s specific case.

Do you have payment plan options?

We do have a partnership with Care Credit, in case you need help with payment arrangements. You can fill out an online Care Credit application here.

For Kids

What should I use to clean my baby's teeth?

A toothbrush will remove plaque bacteria that can lead to decay. Any soft-bristled toothbrush with a small head, preferably one designed specifically for infants, should be used at least once a day at bedtime.

When should I take my child to the dentist for the first check-up?

In order to prevent dental problems, your child should see a pediatric dentist when the first tooth appears, or no later than his/her first birthday.

What is the difference between a pediatric dentist and a family dentist?

Pediatric dentists are the pediatricians of dentistry. A pediatric dentist has two to three years specialty training following dental school and limits his/her practice to treating children only. Pediatric dentists are primary and specialty oral care providers for infants and children through adolescence, including those with special health needs.

Are baby teeth really that important to my child?

Primary, or “baby,” teeth are important for many reasons. Not only do they help children speak clearly and chew naturally, they also aid in forming a path that permanent teeth can follow when they are ready to erupt.

What should I do if my child has a toothache?

First, rinse the irritated area with warm salt water and place a cold compress on the face if it is swollen. Give the child acetaminophen for any pain, rather than placing aspirin on the teeth or gums. Finally, see a dentist as soon as possible.

Are thumbsucking and pacifier habits harmful for a child's teeth?

Thumb and pacifier sucking habits will generally only become a problem if they go on for a very long period of time. Most children stop these habits on their own, but if they are still sucking their thumbs or fingers past the age of three, a mouth appliance may be recommended by your pediatric dentist.

How can I prevent decay caused by nursing?

Avoid nursing children to sleep or putting anything other than water in their bed-time bottle. Also, learn the proper way to brush and floss your child’s teeth. Take your child to a pediatric dentist regularly to have his/her teeth and gums checked. The first dental visit should be scheduled by your child’s first birthday.

How often does my child need to see the pediatric dentist?

A check-up every six months is recommended in order prevent cavities and other dental problems. However, your pediatric dentist can tell you when and how often your child should visit based on their personal oral health.

Toothpaste: when should we begin using it and how much should we use?

The sooner the better! Starting at birth, clean your child’s gums with a soft infant toothbrush or cloth and water. Parents should use a tiny smear of fluoride toothpaste to brush baby teeth twice daily as soon as they erupt and a soft, age-appropriate sized toothbrush. Once children are 3 to 6 years old, then the amount should be increased to a pea-size dollop and perform or assist your child’s tooth brushing.

How do I make my child's diet safe for his teeth?

Make sure your child has a balanced diet, including one serving each of: fruits and vegetables, breads and cereals, milk and dairy products, and meat fish and eggs. Limiting the servings of sugars and starches will also aid in protecting your child’s teeth from decay. You can also ask your pediatric dentist to help you select foods that protect your children’s teeth.

How do dental sealants work?

Sealants work by filling in the crevasses on the chewing surfaces of the teeth. This shuts out food particles that could get caught in the teeth, causing cavities. The application is fast and comfortable and can effectively protect teeth for many years.

How do I know if my child is getting enough fluoride?

Have your pediatric dentist evaluate the fluoride level of your child’s primary source of drinking water. If your child is not getting enough fluoride internally through water (especially if the fluoride level is deficient or if your child drinks bottled water without fluoride), then your pediatric dentist may prescribe fluoride supplements.

What can I do to protect my child's teeth during sporting events?

Soft plastic mouthguards can be used to protect a child’s teeth, lips, cheeks and gums from sport related injuries. A custom-fitted mouthguard developed by a pediatric dentist will protect your child from injuries to the teeth, face and even provide protection from severe injuries to the head.

What should I do if my child falls and knocks out a permanent tooth?

The most important thing to do is to remain calm. Then find the tooth. Hold it by the crown rather than the root and try to reinsert it in the socket. If that is not possible, put the tooth in a glass of milk and take your child and the glass immediately to the pediatric dentist.

How can parents help prevent tooth decay?

Parents should take their children to the dentist regularly, beginning with the eruption of the first tooth. Then, the dentist can recommend a specific program of brushing, flossing, and other treatments for parents to supervise and teach to their children. These home treatments, when added to regular dental visits and a balanced diet, will help give your child a lifetime of healthy habits.

Do you have payment plan options?

We do have a partnership with Care Credit, in case you need help with payment arrangements. You can fill out an online Care Credit application here.

Hours of Operation

Monday

8:30am - 6:00pm

Tuesday

8:30am - 5:00pm

Wednesday

8:00am - 6:30pm

Thursday

9:00am - 7:30pm

Friday

7:30am - 4:00pm

Saturday

(During school year)

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