Dental FAQs

General FAQs

How often should I visit the dentist?

Most children/adults should see their dentist for a regular cleaning and check up every six months. Regular check up will help your gums and teeth stay healthy as well as detect an early signs of problems such as gum disease, oral cancer and cavities. People at a greater risk for oral diseases such as smoker and drinker should have dental checkups more than twice a year.

What causes tooth decay?
  • We all have germs in our mouths – some good and some bad. The bad germs and bacteria cause cavities
  • Germs and bacteria can be spread from parents/caregivers to infants and toddlers through saliva. (Do not share cups, eating utensils or food, and don’t “clean off” pacifiers by putting them in your own mouth first)
  • Sweet or high-carbohydrate foods or sweet drinks feed the germs that cause decay.
  • The germs make acids. The acids cause tooth decay. Tooth decay can be stopped if it is caught early.
  • Regular brushing with fluoridated toothpaste removes the germs. Fluoride helps stop the cavity-causing acids.
  • Tooth decay can be stopped if it is caught and treated early
What is fluoride? How can I prevent tooth decay and gum disease?

Fluoride is a mineral naturally found in nature. Fluoride makes the outer layer of teeth strong. As a result, teeth are less likely to get cavities. In some cases, we advice some patients to use fluoride products to help re-mineralize the enamel. To prevent tooth decay, brush at least twice daily with a soft toothbrush and an ADA-accepted fluoride toothpaste. This prevents tooth decay, gum disease and the need for costly cosmetic or restorative dentistry in the future. In addition, it is important to replace your toothbrush every 2-3 months. Flossing is crucial to the health of your teeth and gums and the prevention of gum disease. When flossing, ease the floss between each tooth. Then, sweep it up and down several times while curving around the tooth at the gum line. Don’t forget to floss your last tooth!

How to brush my teeth properly?
  1. Place brush at 45-degree angle to the gum – use gentle circular motion at the gumline
  2. Brush the outside surfaces and the inside surfaces of all the lower teeth
  3. Brush the outside surfaces and the inside surfaces of all the upper teeth
  4. For the chewing surfaces, use a firm back and forth motion
What causes bad breath?

It is caused by bacteria in our mouth, Halitosis. This bacteria is breaking down food debris, which creates by-products called volatile sulfur compounds (methyl mercaptan and hydrogen sulfide) which emit a smell similar to rotten eggs. Bacteria, just like humans, consume good and excreting waste. And it is these sulfur compounds (waste) that usually lie at the root of a person’s breath problems.

90% of the bad breath originates in the mouth. Because this bacteria needs an environment free of oxygen, they will live areas that are difficult to reach such as: pocket around teeth, the grooves in the tongue, and especially on the back of the tongue.

Gum Disease FAQs

What is Periodontal Disease (Gum Disease)?

Periodontal disease is caused by the bacteria found in plaque. If plaque is not removed regularly, it will harden into calculus which will irritate the gums making them painful and swollen and will easily bleed. Eventually, the supporting structures begin to deteriorate leading to tissue loss, bone loss and tooth loss.

Cosmetic Dentistry FAQs

How does Teeth Whitening work? Is it safe?

Teeth whitening system, ZOOM! is widely considered to provide the safest cosmetic dentistry treatment. Teeth whitening procedure is performed with a specially formulated Hydrogen Peroxide gel that allows oxygen to permeate your tooth enamel, lifting most stains caused by age, food, coffee and tobacco. The structure of your tooth enamel is not affected. The most common side effect is temporary tooth sensitivity. At Pacific Dental Care, we have selected the scientifically advanced ZOOM!, the world’s premier teeth whitening system that is effective and clinically proven to be safe with fast results. ZOOM! is the new and improved product of the original Zoom! Zoom2 is clinically proven to whiten teeth an average of 18 shades in only 45 minutes, and patients experience up to 67% less sensitivity than the original system. You will feel good and look great with ZOOM in just one office visit!

What are Porcelain Veneers?

Porcelain Veneers are thin, tooth-colored porcelain shells that are constructed and bonded to the front sides of teeth surface to close gaps, cover stains and discolorations, and cosmetically enhance chipped or misshapen teeth.

What are the considerations of Dental Veneers?
  • The Process is not reversible
  • Veneers are more costly than composite resin bonding
  • Veneers are may need to be repaired or replaced should they chip or crack
  • Tooth may become more sensitive to hot and cold foods and beverages because enamel has been removed
  • Veneer color cannot be altered once in place and should be properly specified during consultation with your dentist. If you plan on whitening your teeth, whitening should be done before getting veneers.
  • Veneers can dislodge and fall off, although not common. To minimize the chance of this occurring, do not bite hard objects or otherwise put pressure on your teeth.
  • Veneers are not a good choice for individuals with unhealthy teeth, weakened teeth, or for those who have an inadequate amount of existing enamel on the tooth surface.
  • Individuals who clench and grind their teeth are poor candidates for porcelain veneers as these activities can cause the veneers to crack or chip.
How long do Dental Veneers last?

Dental Veneers generally last between 5 to 10 years depending on the amount of “wear + tear” the veneer is exposed to, how well you follow good oral hygiene practices, and your personal mouth-related habits.

Do Dental Veneers require special care?

No. Continue to follow good oral hygiene practices including brushing and flossing as you normally would. Even though porcelain veneers resist stains, your dentist may recommend you to avoid stain-causing foods and beverages such as coffee, tea or red wine.

Root Canal FAQs

What is a Root Canal or Endodontic Treatment?

Root canal or endodontic treatment is a process where inflamed or dead tissue or pulp is removed from the inside of the tooth enabling a tooth that was causing pain to be retained. Dental pulp is the soft tissue in the canal that runs through the center on a tooth. After removing the pulp, the root canals are cleaned, Sterilized and shaped to a form that can be completely sealed with a filling material to prevent further infection. The treatment can take several appointments depending on how complex the tooth is, and how long the infection takes to clear. A porcelain crown may be advised to protect the tooth against fracture.

Dental Implants FAQs

Why should I replace a missing tooth?

When a tooth is lost, the bite may change and the existing teeth shift position. If the bone starts to shrink and multiple teeth are involved, it can give faces a saggy/sunken look. Pacific Dental Care offers services including Porcelain Bridges, Dental Implant and Crowns.

What is a Dental Implant?

A dental implant is an artificial tooth root that an implant specialist places into your jaw to hold a replacement tooth or bridge. Dental implants are an ideal option for people in good general oral health who have lost a tooth or teeth due to periodontal disease, an injury, or some other reason. After an initial healing period, crowns, a fixed bridge or a full set of dentures can be constructed to replace a missing tooth or teeth. Our implant specialists are highly trained, have international experienced and carry board certification from Japan and U.S.A.

Who is candidate for dental implants?

Anyone who is missing one, multiple or all teeth may be a candidate for dental implants. The ideal candidate for a dental implant is in good general and oral health. Adequate bone in your jaw is needed to support the implant, and the best candidates have healthy gum tissues that are free of periodontal disease. Consultation with an implant specialist on procedures can help determine individual needs.

How long does the Dental Implant treatment take?

In order for the implants to become embedded in the bone, the bone must bond to the implants. This process takes an average of 3 to 6 months. We provide patients with temporary teeth if it is the anterior tooth.

How long can I expect to be off work?

We recommend taking 2 days off, a day of implant installation and the following day. In case of single tooth replacement, it is not necessary to take time off work since the procedure is not more complex than a tooth extraction.

What can happen with missing teeth without treatment?

When you lose your teeth, you will gradually lose the bone that supports them. As the bone disappears, problems with other teeth nearby and a lack of support for dentures, partials and bridges arise. These symptoms will arise including pain, mobility, lack of retention for prosthetics, sharp, painful ridges, mobile gum tissue and sore spots.

The tongue enlarges to accommodate spaces of missing teeth. With tooth loss, a five-fold decrease in function occurs and the diet shifts to softer foods. Moreover, when the bone is lost, numbness to the lower lip or the possibility of fracture of the jaw rises.

As the bone is deteriorating, it will spread and deteriorate around healthy teeth and ultimately cause the loss of those teeth, which is similar to a domino effect.

The progression affects the ability to provide the same treatment in the later stages of bone loss than if treatment had been started earlier in the process. It’s much easier to replace a tooth before these side effects occur. A patient risks the possibility of not being able to provide the same, simple type of treatment that would have been possible earlier if treatment is delayed.

Dental Crowns FAQs

What problems could develop with a Dental Crown?
  • Discomfort or Sensitivity
  • Chipped Crown
  • Loose Crown
  • Crown Falls Off
  • Allergic Reaction
How long do Dental Crowns last?

Dental Crowns generally last between 5 to 15years and more depending on how well you follow good oral hygiene practices, and your personal mouth-related habits. Habits such as grinding, clenching teeth, chewing ice, biting fingernails and using teeth to open packaging puts on greater wear and tear to the crown.

Does a Crowned Tooth require any special care?

Crowned tooth does not require any special care. However, crowned tooth does not mean that it is protected from decay or gum disease. Therefore, continue to follow good oral hygiene practices including brushing at least twice a day and flossing once a day especially around the crown area where the gum meets the tooth.

Pediatric FAQs

When Should a Child have his/her first dental appointment?

A child should have his/her first dental appointment no later than his/her first birthday. Many dentists recommend a child to have a first checkup when his/her first tooth appears.

What is Dental Sealants? Why is it important?

Dental sealants are a clear and protective coating that is applied to the biting surfaces of the back teeth. The sealant protects the tooth from getting a cavity by shielding against bacteria and plaque. Sealants are most commonly placed on children’s permanent back teeth because they are more prone to cavities.