What are the most important questions you must ask your dentist? Finding the right dental office can be tricky, so you need to know the right questions you must ask your dentist before you get your teeth cleaned. Dr. Van de Vyver at Great Lakes Dentistry in Royal Oak, Michigan, answers the top five questions you MUST ask your dentist before you go back for your regular check-up and cleaning.
The Top Five Questions You MUST Ask Your Dentist
#1 – Do you still place silver, amalgam fillings?
It used to be that only “cosmetic dentists” were the ones placing tooth-colored (we call them “composite”) fillings. Now, with how far dental materials
have come, I can’t find a good reason a composite filling CANNOT be used. Some dentists will try to say that composite won’t work in “difficult” areas because they might get wet or contaminated. There are so many new materials and equipment available today that make the process of placing a composite restoration successfully much easier and more predictable. Placing tooth colored composite fillings anywhere in the mouth has now become a routine, everyday procedure. There is no longer a compelling reason to use dental amalgam for any filling you might need. Don’t even get me started on the fact that silver fillings have been used for over a hundred years. If I needed a filling, I sure as heck wouldn’t want something put in my mouth that essentially hasn’t been improved upon in over a century. I didn’t take my horse and buggy to the office, I don’t want something
put in my mouth that was invented at the same time! If a dentist places ANY silver fillings, they’re practicing century-old dentistry.
#2 – Do you use all digital x-rays?
When was the last time you went out to dinner and couldn’t post all your food pictures to Pinterest because you had to wait for your whole roll of film to be developed? Everyone has a digital camera on their phone, tablet, and every other gadget. Why is dental film any different? No radiation is “good” radiation. X-rays require radiation to zap your tooth (and your noggin) and see what’s lurking inside. There’s no way around it. If there’s an alternative to x-rays that uses less radiation, all the better. Digital x-rays use less than half the amount of radiation to expose the sensor and see inside the tooth. If you had an option to use digital x-rays, or nuke your face with DOUBLE THE RADIATION DOSE, which would you prefer?
#3 – Do you make same-day crowns? or, Do you make your crowns in the office?
I’m still amazed so few dentists do same day crowns. If you don’t know what a crown is or haven’t needed to go through what is an arduous ordeal (at OTHER dental offices), there’s some info you need to know up front. I can go on and on and on about the benefits of same day crowns (and I do in my book “iSmile”, which you can pick up at my office), just know that old-school “traditional” crowns require multiple office visits, sometimes 3 or more, the patient needs a plastic temporary crown in between visits, and molds (we call them “impressions”) are needed which means biting into a goopy Play-Doh like material for
several minutes. None of that is present with same day crowns. Impressions are taken with an infrared camera (like your digital camera at home) and everything is done on computers. The whole process, from start to finish, takes less than 2 hours. It takes a few minutes to talk with the patient before starting, answering any questions, numb and shape the tooth, and then take those super-easy digital impressions with the infrared camera. An hour later, the all-porcelain (NO METAL SHOWING!) crown is cemented in place. The patient is sipping on a Frappucino for 45 minutes in between. There’s no comparison, if you had the option, of what route to take. I would take the same-day crown over a “traditional” laboratory crown almost EVERY TIME.
#4 – Do you use a dental laser for treatment AND routine cleanings?
Do you use a laser for cleanings? Yes, you read that correctly. I just told you to ask your dentist if they use a laser to clean teeth. Even I’M amazed at this technology, and I use it every day! A laser cleans your teeth. No more nails-on-a-chalkboard scraping away at your teeth. You’re probably thinking “Big deal…”. Well, it IS a big deal, and here’s why: Traditional cleanings using scrapers, by hand, is ineffective. They only remove the really big deposits of tartar and germs. Gum disease is an infection caused by microscopic bacteria. What happens to all the leftover, microscopic germs that cause gum infection? Do you think your dental hygienist is so good she can remove individual microscopic bacteria, by hand? No way! Now, dental lasers can kill billions of bacteria your hygienist simply can’t do on her own. A dental laser shoots an invisible laser beam into the gums (where the germs are) and SPECIFICALLY TARGETS the bad infection-causing bacteria and vaporizes them. Laser cleanings take the number of bacteria in your gums from the billions, with a “B”, down to the hundreds. Those are the numbers we’re talking about. There is no hygienist on the planet able to say she removes all but hundreds of germs in your mouth. The laser removes more infection than anyone can by hand.
#5 – Do you restore and place dental implants?
Once a secret of the Hollywood rich and famous, implants have become so reasonably priced that everyday patients, like you and me, can afford them.
Implants are now the standard of care to replace a single missing tooth. The standard practice to replace a missing tooth was to make a bridge. If there’s a space between two teeth, a bridge sits on those two teeth and a fake tooth is in the middle. There are a few issues with bridges used to replace spaces. The first problem with bridges is they require the two healthy teeth on either side of the space to be ground down. Would you grind down two perfectly healthy teeth to replace one single space? Another big problem is because the bridge is supported by two healthy teeth, it is susceptible to decay and dental rot. Implants are now the standard of care for a tooth replacement because, among many other benefits, they don’t get decayed (and therefore don’t need to be replaced) and you don’t need to sacrifice healthy teeth to support a single implant. Join us at our seminar “Change Your Smile, Change Your Life” we offer FREE at our office. Just ask Sarah when our next free seminar is by calling (248) 435-8880.
Dental implants are quickly becoming the standard of care to treat a missing tooth. A large majority of patients only need a single implant to restore their tooth to its original form and function. Many times, a general dentist has the training, equipment, and expertise to place the implant body (the screw part) as well as restore it by making a custom abutment (the connector piece) and crown (tooth piece) without having to refer you to an oral surgeon or periodontal gum specialist. Dr. Shawn Van de Vyver has taken numerous courses to be able to place implants and is a member of the International Dental Implant Association. You can rest assured knowing you’re going to a Royal Oak dental implant expert.
Well there you have it, The Top Five Questions You MUST Ask Your Dentist. If you want to get my version of this in person at no-charge to you, for a complimentary patient consultation, call right now to schedule (248) 435-8880. Or complete the form below and our office will contact you shortly.