Frequently Asked Questions
When Should My Child First See a Dentist?
As a rule of thumb, your child should visit the dentist no later than six months after they get their first tooth, or before their first birthday, depending on which comes earliest. The sooner that they receive their first dental visit, the easier it is to identify tooth problems when they first develop and address them before they get out of hand. Early visits also allow us to determine whether your child has any unique dental care needs, such as requiring specialized toothpaste. Finally, visiting the dentist at the beginning of their life helps your child to become comfortable with such visits while developing good dental care habits, setting the stage for long-term oral health.
What’s a First Dental Visit Like?
First visits to the dentist tend to be quick and simple. The goal is to get a sense of your child’s oral health while helping them feel more comfortable and trusting toward dental care. Typically, we will begin by examining their teeth, paying attention to their bite and jaw while looking out for any signs of dental decay. We will also clean your child’s teeth gently but thoroughly. Finally, we will give you instructions on how to take care of your child’s teeth, taking into account whether they need extra fluoride or other enhancements.
What Dental Problems Can My Child Have?
Children can develop a wide range of dental problems at an early age. The most common ones include:
- Misalignment – Through thumb sucking, lip sucking, tongue thrusting, and other habits, your child can put pressure on their teeth, forcing them out of alignment. This makes it more likely that they’ll need braces in the future.
- Decay – Children who nurse for too long sometimes expose their teeth to too much sugar, causing those teeth to decay and fall out.
- Tooth Loss – Due to injury, decay, or other issues, your child may lose a baby tooth long before the adult ones come in. This can cause the other teeth to fall out of alignment.
Mann Family Dental has the experience and resources to prevent these problems and all others, and to help your child recover fully if they do have such an issue.
How Often Should an Individual Have Dental X-ray?
Your need for dental X-rays varies based on the overall health of your teeth. If you are suffering from or have recently suffered from a gum or dental disease, you may need regular X-rays, perhaps as frequently as twice a year. The ADA recommends dental X-rays be taken once per year so we can monitor what is going on inside the tooth. Talk to your dentist about the best time for you or your child to get these examinations.
What Insurances Do You Accept?
Mann Family Dental accepts payment from a wide range of different insurance plans and carriers, including Delta Dental, MetLife, Aetna, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Premera, Medicaid, Cigna, EMBS, and many others. We also offer a number of options to make your care as affordable as possible, whether you’re paying with insurance or out of pocket. This includes a $150 dental package, that includes X-rays, exam, and cleaning. We also offer a give back program where 10% of what is spent by you or collected by insurance on your behalf is given to the extracurricular activity or organization of your choice. Our goal is to make quality dental care as affordable and accessible as possible, so that Alaskans of all ages can keep their teeth in good shape.
What Is a Dental Implant?
A dental implant is a metal structure that is put in place of missing teeth and used to hold a porcelain prosthetic that looks and functions like a real tooth. Dental implants are attached directly to your jawbone, making them just as solid and stationary as regular teeth. If you lose your teeth to decay or injury, implants provide a permanent solution, allowing you to eat, talk, and otherwise use your mouth just as you did before. They also tend to be more comfortable than other replacement options, as they will not move around in your mouth. If you’re looking to fill in missing teeth, check with your insurer to see if they cover implants.
What Is Teeth Whitening?
Teeth whitening restores your teeth to their natural color after they have been stained. Such stains can be the result of tobacco use, plaque buildup, or the consumption of foods and drinks with dark colors, like coffee, berries, and colas. Teeth whitening tends to focus on cleaning such stains off of your enamel; it is less effective for stains that affect the inside of the tooth, such as those from excessive fluoride exposure. Whitening is not a permanent procedure, and many people get it repeatedly over the course of their lives. It is especially popular among those with porcelain dental implants, as those implants tend to stand out more if your regular teeth become discolored.
How Can Broken Teeth Be Repaired?
If your teeth become cracked or broken, you have a number of options to restore them to full form and function, including:
- Placing dental veneers on your teeth, which cover broken or damaged areas
- Dental bonding, which involves filling in the damaged area with a hardening composite
- Installing crowns, or caps that cover the tops of your teeth
Depending on how long your tooth has been damaged, the pulp inside may have decayed. When this occurs, you will likely need a root canal, which involves removing the pulp and sealing up the tooth. You may then need a crown to restore the damaged area.
Why Have Dental Crowns?
Not only do crowns restore broken or chipped teeth to full form and function, but they prevent your teeth from becoming damaged even further. If a tooth has a crack or chip in it, the damage will get worse every time you chew, bite, or otherwise put pressure on it. Crowns shore up the damaged area so that the tooth can continue to withstand pressure, preventing it from falling out. We match our crowns to the specific shape and color of your tooth, allowing us to install it seamlessly.
How Do I Care for Dental Crowns?
Because crowns are made from porcelain, they are highly resistant to damage and decay. Nonetheless, you should brush around the crown in order to prevent gum diseases. You should also watch out for any signs that it does not fit properly, such as sensitivity or pain when you bite or chew. Notice the crown feeling loose, the bonding agent may have de-bonded causing the crown to fall off. Contact your dentist as soon as you notice any of these issues.
What Do Dentures Feel Like?
It takes time to get used to dentures, so you’ll likely feel like you have outside objects in your mouth. Dentures can also cause your gums to feel sore, and they may make your lips feel fuller. Finally, when dentures put pressure on your tongue, they may make you feel a gagging sensation. Most of these issues will go away over time as you become more accustomed to dentures. The dentist makes minor adjustments, as you are learning to use the dentures, to make them more comfortable.