At Pelham Links Family and Cosmetic Dentistry, we understand that you may have questions about our dental services, insurance options, and more. We’ve compiled a comprehensive list of FAQs to provide you with quick and convenient answers. Whether you’re curious about Invisalign®, dental emergencies, or our payment plans, you’ll find the information you need right here.
What Is a Wisdom Tooth?
A wisdom tooth is one of the four molars found at the back of the mouth. While wisdom teeth were historically necessary for our ancestors to chew tough, coarse foods, they lead to impaction, pain, and misalignment today due to insufficient space to grow properly.
When Do Wisdom Teeth Come In?
These teeth usually emerge later in life, in a person's late teens or early twenties, hence the name.
Do I Need to Have My Wisdom Teeth Removed?
The need for wisdom tooth removal depends on impaction, pain, infection, or potential dental complications. Consulting with our dentist is important to determine if extraction is necessary based on your oral health.
What Are the Risks and Side Effects of Wisdom Teeth Removal?
The risks and side effects of wisdom tooth removal can include the following:
- Post-operative pain
- Potential for infection
It’s best to discuss them with our dentist before the procedure to understand what to expect and how to manage them effectively.
How Long Does It Take to Recover from Wisdom Teeth Removal?
Recovery typically takes about a few days to a week, depending on factors including:
- The complexity of the extraction
- Individual healing capabilities
- How well post-operative care instructions are followed
During this period, it’s common to experience some swelling, discomfort, and limited jaw movement. However, these symptoms generally improve as healing progresses. Our dentist will provide specific post-operative guidelines to help facilitate a smooth and speedy recovery.
What Is Teeth Whitening?
Teeth whitening is a cosmetic dental procedure designed to lighten the color of teeth and remove stains and discoloration. It involves using bleaching agents or special whitening products to break down and remove deep-seated stains and restore a brighter, more youthful appearance to the teeth.
Teeth whitening can be performed in a dental office under professional supervision or at home using over-the-counter whitening products, customized trays, or strips. It’s a popular and non-invasive way to enhance the aesthetics of one’s smile, often resulting in a more confident and radiant appearance.
What Are the Different Types of Teeth Whitening?
- In-Office Teeth Whitening: This is performed by a dentist or dental hygienist in a dental office. It involves the application of a high-concentration whitening gel to the teeth, often activated by a special light or laser. In-office whitening typically provides rapid and noticeable results in a single appointment.
- At-Home Teeth Whitening Kits: These kits are available over the counter or can be provided by a dentist. They usually consist of custom-made trays or strips with lower-concentration whitening gel. At-home kits allow gradual whitening for days or weeks with daily use.
- Whitening Toothpaste: Whitening toothpaste contains mild abrasives and chemicals that help remove surface stains. While they can improve tooth color, they're less effective than other deep-seated or intrinsic stain methods.
- Whitening Strips: These are thin, flexible strips coated with a peroxide-based gel. They’re applied directly to the teeth and left in place for a specified time, usually once or twice a day for a few weeks. They can be purchased over the counter or provided by a dentist.
- Whitening Rinses: Whitening rinses are liquid mouthwashes that contain a whitening agent, such as hydrogen peroxide. They’re swished around the mouth for a minute or so before spitting out. While they can help freshen breath and lighten teeth to some extent, their effectiveness may be limited compared to other methods.
We offer several options of Opalescence® whitening products, including in-office Boost®, custom trays for our Bright-for-Life program, and even take-home one-time-use To-Go trays. Please consult with a staff member for more information.
What How Long Do the Results of Teeth Whitening Last?
The duration of teeth whitening results can vary depending on certain factors, including the method used, dietary habits, and oral care. Regular dental check-ups can help monitor the condition of your teeth and determine when a touch-up or maintenance treatment may be necessary. Additionally, consulting with our dentist before and after teeth whitening can provide personalized guidance on maintaining your brighter smile.
What Is Invisalign?
Invisalign is a brand of clear aligners and a type of orthodontic treatment used to straighten teeth and correct bite issues. Unlike traditional braces, Invisalign uses a series of custom-made, transparent plastic aligners that are nearly invisible when worn. These aligners are removable, comfortable, and provide a discreet way to achieve a straighter smile.
How Long Does Invisalign Treatment Take?
On average, treatment typically takes about 12 to 18 months to achieve desired results but can be shorter or longer based on your dental condition. Our dentist will provide a personalized treatment plan and timeline during your initial consultation, including an estimated treatment duration. Adhering to the recommended wear schedule and following our dentist's instructions is crucial for achieving the best and quickest results.
Does My Insurance Cover Invisalign?
Coverage for Invisalign treatment depends on your dental insurance plan. You’ll want to review your specific insurance policy or contact your insurance provider to understand the extent of coverage and associated terms or limitations. Our staff can also assist you in verifying insurance coverage and exploring payment options.
What Is the Itero® Machine?
The Itero® machine is a digital impression system that creates highly accurate 3D digital models of a patient's teeth and oral structures. It replaces the traditional method of using messy materials to take physical molds or impressions.
How Does the Itero® Machine Work?
This machine uses laser and optical scanning technology to capture detailed images of the patient’s teeth and bite, which can be used for various procedures, including orthodontic treatment planning, crowns, bridges, and Invisalign treatment.
It involves a withheld wand that emits laser light and captures thousands of images per second while it is moved over the patient’s teeth and gums. These images are instantly compiled into a real-time, comprehensive 3D digital model that can be used for various dental purposes, from treatment planning to orthodontic appliance design.
What Are the Benefits of Using the Itero® Machine?
- Accuracy: It produces highly precise 3D digital impressions, reducing the margin for error in treatment planning and restorative work.
- Comfort: Patients experience greater comfort than traditional messy and uncomfortable physical impressions.
- Efficiency: The digital process is quicker, eliminating the need for physical molds and reducing chair time.
- Real-Time Visualization: The dental professional and patient can see the digital impression taking shape in real time, enhancing communication and understanding of treatment plans.
- Digital Records: The digital models can be easily stored, shared, and used for future reference, making it convenient for ongoing dental care.
- Versatility: The Itero® machine can be used for various dental applications, including orthodontics, restorative dentistry, and monitoring oral health changes.
- Enhanced Patient Experience: It contributes to a more pleasant dental experience, increasing patient satisfaction.
- Improved Treatment Planning: Dental professionals can use precise digital impressions to plan and execute treatments more accurately.
- Reduced Waste: Eliminating the need for physical impressions reduces environmental impact by minimizing material waste.
What are the Different Types of Dental Fillings?
- Amalgam Fillings: These are silver-colored fillings made of a combination of metals, including mercury, silver, tin, and copper. Amalgam fillings are durable and cost-effective but are less aesthetically pleasing than other options.
- Ceramic Fillings: They’re made of a tooth-colored porcelain material.
- Glass Ionomer Fillings: These fillings are a mixture of acrylic and glass materials.
- Gold Fillings: They’re made from gold, copper, and other metal alloys.
- Composite Fillings: These are made of tooth-colored resin material. They’re often used for front teeth or visible areas due to their natural appearance.
We offer composite dental fillings that closely resemble the color and texture of natural teeth, bond well to the tooth, and require less removal of healthy tooth structure.
What are the Benefits of Dental Fillings?
- Restoration: Dental fillings restore damaged or decayed teeth to their proper function and structure.
- Prevention: They help prevent further decay and protect the tooth from additional damage.
- Aesthetics: Tooth-colored fillings provide a natural appearance, blending with the surrounding teeth.
- Preservation: Filling materials bond securely to the tooth, preserving its strength and integrity.
- Versatility: Different filling materials address various needs, from aesthetic concerns to durability.
- Quick Procedure: Fillings can typically be placed in a single dental visit, offering a swift solution to dental issues.
What Are Dental Implants?
Dental implants are artificial tooth roots made of biocompatible materials like titanium. They're surgically implanted into the jawbone to provide a stable foundation for replacing missing teeth with realistic-looking, functional artificial teeth. Dental implants offer a long-lasting and permanent solution for restoring a natural smile and bite.
What Are the Benefits of Dental Implants?
- Improved Oral Function: Dental implants restore the ability to chew, speak, and bite with confidently, as they function like natural teeth.
- Enhanced Aesthetics: They provide a natural appearance, as the artificial teeth attached to implants closely mimic the look of real teeth.
- Preservation of Jawbone: Implants stimulate the jawbone, preventing bone loss that often occurs after tooth loss and helping to maintain facial structure.
- No Adjacent Tooth Alteration: Unlike dental bridges, implants do not require the alteration or removal of neighboring healthy teeth for support.
- Durability: With proper care, dental implants can last a lifetime, making them a long-term and cost-effective tooth replacement option.
Does My Insurance Cover Dental Implants?
Coverage for dental implants varies depending on your dental insurance plan. Some plans may cover a portion of the cost, while others may not cover them at all. It’s best to check with your insurance provider and review your specific policy to determine the extent of coverage for dental implants.
What Is Laser Dentistry?
Laser dentistry uses focused beams of light energy (laser technology) for dental procedures such as cavity detection, gum disease treatment, soft tissue surgeries, teeth whitening, and more.
What Are the Benefits of Laser Dentistry?
- Precision: Lasers allow for highly precise dental procedures, minimizing damage to surrounding healthy tissue.
- Reduced Pain and Discomfort: Many laser procedures are less painful than traditional methods, often reducing or eliminating the need for anesthesia.
- Faster Healing: Laser dentistry often results in quicker recovery due to reduced tissue trauma.
- Minimized Bleeding: Lasers can coagulate blood vessels, reducing bleeding during surgeries and gum treatments.
- Reduced Risk of Infection: Laser energy sterilizes the treatment area, lowering the risk of post-operative infections.
- Preservation of Healthy Tissue: Laser dentistry conserves healthier teeth and gum tissue than traditional methods.
- Improved Precision: Dentists can target specific areas precisely, making laser dentistry suitable for delicate procedures like gum contouring and cavity removal.
- Less Discomfort: Patients often experience less discomfort during and after laser treatments.
- Reduced Anxiety: Laser procedures are typically quieter and less intimidating, making them more comfortable for anxious patients.
- Versatility: Laser technology can be used for various dental procedures, from cavity preparation to cosmetic enhancements.
What Is a Dental Emergency?
A dental emergency is a sudden and critical oral health issue requiring immediate attention from a dentist. It often involves severe pain, injury, or damage to the teeth, gums, or mouth that can’t wait for a regular dental appointment.
Common dental emergencies include severe toothaches, knocked-out or fractured teeth, oral infections, bleeding gums, and trauma to the mouth or face. It’s essential to seek immediate care for dental emergencies to relieve pain, prevent complications, and maintain oral health.
What Should I Do If I Have a Dental Emergency?
If you experience a dental emergency during our business hours, don't hesitate to contact our office to schedule an appointment with one of our doctors. In case of emergency after hours and on weekends, existing patients can call our office number, and the answering service will connect you with the on-call doctor.
What Insurances Do You Take?
Not all insurance carriers are accepted in our office. Please contact your insurance provider or call us for accurate information.
Do You Offer Payment Plans?
We have several options to ensure you can afford the dental care needed. Please see one of our staff members or check out our page on Payment Options for more details. When using the Sunbit option, a 5% Convenience Fee of the amount financed applies.
Are There Any Options for Patients with No Dental Insurance Coverage?
We offer an in-house membership program for patients with no dental insurance. See our page on Golden Rewards for more information.
Can’t Find Your Question in Our FAQs?
Do you have questions that aren't covered here? Don't hesitate to ask us during your next visit or email us. At Pelham Links Family and Cosmetic Dentistry, we’re committed to delivering tailored responses and ensuring you have all the necessary information to make informed choices about your oral health. Please get in touch with us today.
*Attribution Statement: *Invisalign®, the Invisalign logo, and iTero®, among others, are trademarks and/or service marks of Align Technology, Inc. or one of its subsidiaries or affiliated companies and may be registered in the U.S. and/or other countries.