Q: I'm so nervous, will this procedure hurt?

A: Every procedure is different, and Dr. Larisa Stein will try her best to be as gentle as possible. Just try to relax and everything should run smoothly. If you have any questions about your specific procedure, feel free to ask her. Your comfort is of the outmost importance to Dr. Stein and her experienced staff.

Q: How come I have so many cavities?

A: Cavities are formed from plaque build-up. Plaque forms on teeth every day and produces harmful acids. Plaque acids attack the enamel (outermost tissue of tooth) and weaken it. If the acids attack long enough, they eat through the enamel into the dentin (tissue layer below the enamel) and form a cavity (hole). Familiarize yourself with common dental care tips.

Q: What causes tooth discoloration?

A: There are many causes. The most common include aging, consumption of staining substances(coffee, tea, colas, tobacco), trauma, tetracycline (antibiotic) staining, excessive fluoride, nerve degeneration, and old restorations. Ask Dr. Stein about the Zoom Whitening System.

Q: What is tooth whitening and who can benefit from it?

A: Patients with healthy, unrestored teeth are great candidates for tooth whitening. Tooth whitening involves bleaching or cosmetic techniques depending on what Dr. Stein recommends. Ask about the Zoom Whitening System.

Q: How can I smile with confidence?

A: Dr. Stein offers enamel shaping, bleaching, bonding and veneers.

Q: What is difference between bonding and veneers?

A: Bonding is a cosmetic procedure that can improve the appearance of teeth that are chipped, broken, cracked, stained or gapped. With bonding, tooth-colored materials (made of composite resins) are attached/bonded to tooth surface. Bonding usually lasts for 3-5 years. Veneers are thin custom-made shells that are designed to cover the front side of the teeth. Made of tooth-colored materials (composite resins, acrylic materials or porcelain) are used to treat gaps, permanently stained teeth, poorly-shaped or crooked teeth. The teeth may be chipped or worn or eroded at the gum line from rigorous brushing.

Q: Why should I have fluoride treatments when I have my teeth cleaned? There's fluoride in water and toothpaste, isn't there? Why isn't that enough fluoride? And I thought fluoride was for children?

A: Fluoride is beneficial at any age. Adults need the same kind of protection that children receive from regular fluoride treatments. The amount of fluoride in toothpaste and water is quite small. Receiving fluoride treatments during cleanings provides powerful protection against harmful decay.

Q: What is a crown? Why do I need a crown?

A: A crown is a restoration that covers, or caps, a tooth to restore its normal shape and size. Its purpose is to strengthen or improve the appearance of a tooth. A crown is placed to support a large filling when there isn’t enough tooth remaining; to attach a bridge; to protect weak teeth from fracturing; to restore fractured teeth; to cover badly shaped or discolored teeth; to cover a dental implant.

Q: What is a bridge? Why do I need a bridge?

A: A bridge or a fixed partial is a restoration which replaces or spans the space where one or more teeth have been lost. There are two types of bridges: fixed and removable. Fixed bridges are bonded into place and can only be removed by the dentist. Removable bridges, may not be as desirable as fixed bridges because they are not as stable. A bridge helps maintain the natural appearance of your face by supporting your lips and cheeks. The loss of a back tooth may cause your mouth to sink and your face to look older. Bridges maintain proper functioning of your mouth.

Q: What is a root canal?

A: Root canals have a bad name but often are a virtually pain-free procedure. A root canal is performed to remove either a diseased or necrotic (dead) pulp (mass of nerves and capillaries in the tooth) out of the tooth’s root, allowing a tooth to be saved which might have been extracted.

Q: What is gingivits?

A: Gingivitis is the earliest stage of gum disease and the damage caused by gingivitis is reversible. Gingivitis is caused by plaque and its by-products irritate the gums, resulting in a mild inflammation of these tissues. The gums can be red, swollen, and may bleed when brushing, eating or probing. Gingivitis can also cause bad breath. Gingivitis can be treated with brushing and flossing, and may require a professional cleaning and in some cases the dentist may also prescribe a special anti-bacterial mouthrinse.

Q: What is a sealant?

A: A sealant is a clear or shaded plastic material that is applied to the chewing surfaces of the back teeth (premolars and molars), where decay occurs most often. The sealant acts as a barrier, protecting decay prone areas from plaque and acid.

Q: How can parents prevent baby bottle tooth decay?

A: Baby bottle decay, also called nursing-bottle or nursing-mouth syndrome, is a condition that can destroy teeth of an infant or young child. This is decay is caused when baby’s teeth are exposed to sugary liquids (breast milk, formula, fruit juice, other sweetened liquids) for long periods. Reduce the chances of baby bottle decay by watching what you give the baby between regular feedings. A nursing bottle should not be used as a pacifier or as an aid to help baby sleep, unless it contains plain water. Also after each feeding wipe the baby’s teeth and gums with a clean, damp washcloth or gauze pad. This will remove plaque and prevent acid attacks.