Ask The Dentist-League City and Galveston Dentist - Please feel free to ask us a question regarding dental treatment or a dental condition. Don't worry if you are not a patient yet, we will still answer your question and try to help. (Your question and our answer could appear in forum style on the website so please frame you question in a way that could help other patients).
Email your question to TodaysDentistryTexas@yahoo.com
Am I a Candidate for Sedation Dentistry? You may be a candidate if you have dental phobia, dental anxiety, a sensitive gag reflex, a previous traumatic experience, extra sensitive teeth, difficulty getting numb, difficulty keeping your mouth open, hate noises, smells and tastes associated with dental care, hate needles and shots, need extensive work or multiple procedures at one time, have a very busy, schedule, or are embarrassed about your teeth. If the Dentist at Today's Dentistry feels that there are health concerns he or she will thoroughly consult.
Will I feel Pain?
Most patients feel no discomfort whatsoever during their treatment and feel surprisingly good afterwards. We sedate you with oral or IV sedation.
Is it Safe?
Dr. Carroll and our sedation dentistry team will perform an extensive medical history check to make sure you are in proper health. Dr Carroll and his team have been providing sedation Dentistry, both oral and IV for more than 23 years, so you can feel confident that you are in good hands. During treatment we constantly monitor each patient with a computerized pulse oximeter, which measures heart rate, blood pressure and oxygen saturation. Dr. Carroll and our team want you to feel good about going forward towards a healthy, new smile.
How Does Sedation Dentistry Work?
You will be escorted by our staff to a comfortable chair, given a warm blanket and headphones for music of your choice and a small electronic sensor will be placed on your fingertip. This sensor allows us to monitor your vital signs during the entire procedure and when you are snoozing comfortably, we will begin your dental care. Once you are completely relaxed and comfortable, Dr. Carroll will be able to work quickly and efficiently to perform larger amounts of dentistry in a few to single visits. Sedation dentistry helps so many people with fear or anxiety about the dentist because sedation medications have a "forgetful" effect so you will have very little, if any, memory of the sights, smells or sounds of your visit - making your visit to our office relaxing and feel like a few moments. When the Doctor is finished with your treatment, your companion will drive you home and you will nap for several hours.
Am I a Candidate for Cosmetic Dentistry?
If you are not happy with the smile you have, you are a candidate for Cosmetic Dentistry. Cosmetic dentistry can improve simple aesthetic issues such as stained teeth with tooth whitening procedures, or more involved procedures such as missing teeth with dental implants and crowns. Porcelain Veneers or Dental Bonding on the front of the teeth can improve problems like chips, cracks, or wear and tear. Crooked teeth, or gaps in your teeth can be fixed with instant orthodontics, a combination of porcelain veneers and dental crowns or with Clear Aligners worn over several months.
Should I replace my Silver Fillings with Tooth Color Fillings?
This depends on why you would want to have them replaced. If you want your teeth to look nicer or if your mercury fillings are wearing down I do recommend white (composite resin) fillings over silver fillings in most instances. However, if you are hoping to prevent or cure any ailment you should know that there is no scientific evidence at this time to suggest that removing silver fillings will help prevent, alleviate or cure any medical problems. We prefer tooth-colored fillings because they "bond" to the tooth structure and therefore help strengthen a tooth weakened by decay. "White" fillings are usually less sensitive to temperature, and they also look better.
Will Teeth Whitening make my teeth Sensitive?
If your teeth are overly sensitive, whitening may not be an option. It can make your teeth even more sensitive, though the extra sensitivity does go away. Veneers, however, are a good option and preparing the teeth for veneers is usually done under local anesthesia. Once the veneers are placed, sensitivity should not be a problem. Veneers may not be a good choice for someone whose teeth are too sensitive for any dental work but well made, fitted and cemented veneers should reduce tooth sensitivity, not increase it.
What is Bonding?
Dental bonding, also known as composite or tooth bonding is an excellent way to fix crooked, chipped or discolored teeth. Dental Bonding involves placing a putty-like composite resin in stages on the natural surface of the tooth, then shaping and sculpting it. A high intensity curing light will be used to harden that layer of composite, and the previous step will be repeated, and then cured, until the filling or direct composite veneer has reached its final shape. After deciding that you are happy with the final tooth shape, we will then place an appropriate finish to ensure that the bonded resin does not dislodge or cause tooth sensitivity.
What are Porcelain Veneers?
Porcelain Veneers, also referred to as dental veneers or porcelain laminates, are thin shells of porcelain that are bonded to the front of teeth to create a cosmetic improvement and sometimes a bite improvement. Porcelain veneers have successfully improved smiles by making dark teeth look lighter and healthier looking. They can make yellow teeth permanently whiter and gray tetracycline stained teeth look much more natural. Porcelain veneers can make crooked teeth look straight in just a few days. Patient's can look and feel more confident, more professional and have a wonderfully natural looking smile.
How do I get my Teeth Straight? Advances in procedures for Orthodontics, now allow straightening teeth for Adults who do not want to wear silver brackets. Clear Aligners are placed every three to four weeks in sequence allowing movement of the teeth following computer aided programming of tooth movement. Today's Dentistry uses Clear Correct aligners which can be placed on Teens or Adults.
Implant Dentistry, Missing Teeth, Dentures
Am I a Candidate for Implant Dentistry?
Almost anyone that has lost a tooth, several teeth, or even all of their teeth is a candidate for dental Implants. Conventional restorative dental crowns, bridges, partial and full dentures now are considered old-fashioned and obsolete to the more successful treatment of dental implant–supported restorative dentistry. Because the jaw bone needs the stimulation of either tooth roots or dental implants, once the teeth are lost, the bone will deteriorate or shrink over time. One of the most important advantages of Dental Implants is that they stop the shrinking of the jaw bone preventing the collapse of facial features. Dental implants can be very natural in appearance and current implant restorative techniques are the best alternative to your original teeth!
Why do I need to Replace Missing Teeth?
Replacing missing teeth is important to keep your mouth functioning properly. When a tooth is lost the teeth near the space can shift and tilt into the empty space. A tooth in the opposite jaw can erupt up or down into the missing space. The shifting of teeth will place excessive stresses on the other teeth in your mouth and your gums. When the teeth “fall” into the empty space, they are likely to be lost as the ligament that holds them in place breaks and the adjacent teeth then become mobile. Teeth should be replaced as soon as possible after tooth loss in order to prevent the domino effect of tooth loss.
My Denture Cracked, can it be fixed or do I have to get a new One?
You may be able to have them repaired depending on where the crack is. If the cracked area is very thin, repair can be difficult, but if they are new dentures, a wire may be able to be placed along the cracked area to reinforce the denture material. If the dentures are old, it may be wise to get new ones made. The tissues and the bone in your mouth change over time without the stimulation of tooth roots and biting forces, and therefore there is a possibility that your new denture will not fit as well as your denture did when you first got it years ago.
I have to have a tooth extracted. I have all my other teeth. I am trying to decide what to do (nothing, get bridge or get an implant). What things should I look at in making this decision?
If finances permit, and your overall health and bone structure meets the necessary criteria, the best treatment would be an implant. Implants have been around a long time, and if placed by a well-trained and experienced doctor, they should last you a lifetime. Dr. Carroll has been placing Dental Implants for over 23 years. The big advantage is that you are not cutting down the surrounding teeth to anchor a three-unit bridge.