FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Our team at Dental Associates of South Carolina understands that dental care can get confusing. Below is a list of frequently asked questions. Should you have any additional questions or concerns not answered here, feel free to contact our office at (864) 224-1925 today!
Q: What is the best type of toothbrush I can use?
A: Our dentists recommend a soft toothbrush with a small head since medium and hard brushes tend to cause irritation and can contribute to gum recession. A small head allows you to get around each tooth more completely and is less likely to hurt your gums. When brushing your teeth make sure to "scrub" gently. The best way to maintain a healthy smile is by brushing at least twice a day and visiting your dentist at least twice a year for cleanings.
Q: Is there a toothpaste that is better than others?
A: Not really. However, it is recommended that you use a toothpaste containing fluoride to help decrease the chance of dental decay. Our dentists recommend that patients use a toothpaste that tastes good to them as long as it contains fluoride.
Q: How often should I see a dentist?
A: The American Dental Association (ADA) guidelines recommend visiting a dentist at least twice a year for a check-up and professional cleaning.
Q: How often do I need to floss?
A: Flossing is very important for the health of your teeth. Our dental team recommends flossing your teeth at least once a day to help prevent cavities from forming between the teeth where your toothbrush can't reach. Flossing also helps to keep your gums healthy.
Q: What is the difference between a "crown" and a "cap?"
A: Both are restoration options used to repair a severely broken tooth by covering all or most of the tooth after old fillings, decay, and fractured tooth structures have been removed. Materials used in these restorations range from gold, porcelain, composites, and even stainless steel. Most dentists refer to all of these restorations as "crowns." However, patients often refer to the tooth-colored option as "caps" and the gold or stainless steel ones as "crowns."
Q: What is the difference between a "bridge" and a "partial denture?"
A: Bridges and partial dentures are used to replace missing teeth. A bridge is permanently attached to abutment teeth or, in some cases, implants. While a partial denture is attached by clasps to the teeth and can easily be removed by the patient. Patients are generally more satisfied with bridges than with partial dentures, as bridges are less likely to shift.
Q: What about "silver" fillings versus "white" fillings?
A: Although the U.S. Public Health Service issued a report in 1993 stating there is no health reason not to use amalgam (silver fillings), more patients today are requesting "white" or tooth-colored composite fillings. We also prefer tooth-colored fillings because they "bond" to the tooth structure and therefore help strengthen a tooth weakened by decay. White fillings are also usually less sensitive to temperature, and also look better. Unfortunately, "white" fillings cannot be used in every situation, and if a tooth is badly broken-down, a crown will usually be necessary and provide better overall satisfaction for the patient.
Q: If I need a crown, does that mean I also need a root canal?
A: No. While most teeth which have had root canal treatments do need crowns to strengthen the teeth and to return the teeth to normal form and function, not every tooth needing a crown also needs to have a root canal.
Q: What if I have a dental emergency?
A: Call our office at (864) 224-1925 as soon as you determine that you have a dental emergency. We will be glad to work you into our schedule if you have a dental emergency during regular business hours. After hours, over the weekend, and during holidays, please call our office for the emergency contact number.