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We've rebranded! Southcoast Smiles is now Perfect Smiles! Expect the same excellent dentistry under our care, and enjoy the new look.

FAQ

Get Answers for Dental FAQ in Seekonk & Westport

At Perfect Smiles, we know you’ll have questions about your family’s dental care, and we’re happy to answer them. Visit either of our two convenient locations:

Seekonk, MA – 185 Highland Ave, 02771

Westport, MA – 302 Village Way, 02790

You can also call Seekonk at 508-252-8627 or Westport at 508-252-0909.

In the meantime, check our list of dental FAQ to see if we’ve already addressed your questions.

 

Sedation

A:

Q: Is Sedation Dentistry for Me? Who Can Have Sedation Dentistry?

A: In addition to providing sedation for patients with anxiety about dental care, sedation dentistry may be right for you if you have experienced fear and anxiety, a previous traumatic dental experience, difficulty numbing, a bad gag reflex, sensitive teeth, or complex dental problems, or if you simply have a busy schedule. Some patients choose sedation because we can complete multiple treatments in a single visit. Call and schedule a free consultation today.

Q: How Safe Is Sedation Dentistry?

A: We know everything about our patients while they are sedated. We like to say that our sedation patients are our safest patients because of the measurements we constantly monitor while they are under sedation. They include oxygen levels, blood pressure, heart rate, carbon dioxide, and EKG.

Cosmetic Dentistry – Whitening & Veneers

A:

Q: Are There Any Side Effects With Teeth Whitening?

A: In most cases there are no side effects if whitening is supervised by dental professionals. Mild to moderate sensitivity is possible. With in-office treatments, we prevent this by using materials to protect gums. We also have postoperative treatments that can alleviate sensitivity.

Q: What Are the Pros and Cons of Dental Veneers?

A: Dental veneers are a very conservative way of creating a gorgeous smile. Unlike tooth material, veneers do not stain. They can be shaped in a more aesthetic form than your existing teeth. They can also be used to correct a moderate amount of crowding, and the results are more immediate than orthodontic treatment. The disadvantages of dental veneers are that they are not appropriate for areas of large decay, they should not be used to repair wear caused by grinding, and, like any tooth, they can be damaged by accidents or abuse.

Fillings & Root Canals

A:

Q: What Material Is Used for a White Tooth Filling?

A: Our office exclusively uses a high-quality ceramic resin tooth-colored filling material matched to your tooth color. We do not use mercury-containing materials for any restorative care, as we feel it is not the latest and healthiest option.

Q: What Causes a Root Canal to Be Needed?

A: Teeth become infected from many causes: decay, periodontal disease, fractures, and even just the passage of time. In fact, in prehistoric times tooth infection was the leading cause of adult death.

Dental Bridges/Dental Implants

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Q: How Do I Evaluate a Dental Bridge vs. Dental Implant?

A: Both are great ways to restore an area where a tooth is missing. The decision between a bridge and implant has many factors, including the health of the nearby teeth and the strength of the bone in the area of loss. Both methods will restore your ability to smile and chew successfully. We strongly suggest that you come in and talk with us about the appropriate method for your specific situation.

Q: What Are the Types of Dental Implants?

A: There are a number of different types of dental implants and ways to restore one tooth or many teeth, including full arches using dental implant techniques. All of our implant techniques involve a process called osseointegration, a natural process that causes cells to attach to one another and that is used to attach your new implant directly to bone. Call to schedule a free consultation to learn more.

Crowns (Dental Caps)

A:

Q: How Long Does a Crown Last?

A: How long a crown last relates primarily to both the degree of prior destruction and your daily maintenance. In our 40-year practice history, we have many crowns fabricated with older technologies still in great shape from those early years. There are also times where the degree of existing breakdown suggests that a crown will not last this long. Come and ask us about your specific question, and we will be able to provide a more accurate answer.

Q: What Are CEREC Same-Day Crowns?

A: The revolution in computer-guided diagnosis and treatment has made it possible in many situations to design and fabricate an entire crown and bond it in place directly, therefore restoring your fractured tooth in one visit. This saves you time and the inconvenience of additional visits, and it gets you back to the rest of your life immediately. While this technique is still not common in most practices, it can be a great help to busy individuals and those who want to minimize the number of trips to the dentist!

Dental Extractions

A:

Q: What Is the Healing Time for an Extraction?

A: Post-extraction you can expect rapid healing. Standard procedure according to the American Dental Association is to place a bone graft in the place of missing tooth and bone. A bone graft will speed up the healing process of the bone.

Q: What Is Aftercare for an Extraction?

A: We provide all our postoperative extraction patients with detailed instructions for their aftercare. We outline the do’s and don’ts, as well as what to expect for the first 24 hours after their extraction. Our patients’ comfort is our number one priority. We also have someone on call to answer any of your questions and help with any of your needs after business hours.

Periodontal Disease

A:

Q: What Are the Symptoms of Periodontal Disease?

A: In most cases periodontal disease is silent, with no symptoms. However, some people may experience the following symptoms: bleeding gums, receding gums, loose teeth, gums that are tender to the touch, and tooth loss. Most people with uncontrolled periodontal disease experience bad breath. If you have one or more of these symptoms of periodontal disease, call us to schedule a consultation to discuss what treatment may be best for you.

Q: What Is Periodontal Therapy?

A: Once it has been determined that you have periodontal disease, your dentist or hygienist will likely suggest a nonsurgical periodontal therapy, which involves removing the tartar (deceased bacteria that hardened to the tooth) from above and below the gumline.

Braces

A:

Q: Is There an Age Limit for Braces?

A: As long as your gums and jawbone are healthy, there are no age limits to having braces. If you are considering braces, schedule a free consultation where we can go over the best option for you.

Q: What Are the Different Types of Braces?

A: We offer traditional braces, clear (ceramic) braces, and removable clear aligners. Speak with our orthodontist to learn more.

Dentures

A:

Q: What Are the Types of Dentures?

A: There are many types of dentures: complete dentures, temporary dentures, healing dentures, transitional dentures, flexible dentures, and a wide range of partial dentures. Give us a call to discuss which options will bring you the comfortable, great smile you’re looking for.

Q: How Quickly Will I Adjust to Dentures?

A: Adjusting to traditional dentures will take some time, but with a few simple techniques, the adjustment period can be pretty quick. At our office we recommend and include adjustment visits in the process.

Dental Sealants

A:

Q: Who Should Get Sealants?

A: Anyone who has back teeth that do not have fillings in them.

Q: Is Getting a Sealant Uncomfortable?

A: No. A sealant is completely painless; there is no drilling or local anesthesia needed.

Pregnancy

A:

Q: I’m Pregnant. Do I Need to Do Anything Different to Care for My Teeth?

A: Eat a well-balanced diet. Food low in carbs and acidity are great for your teeth (ex: avocado, yogurt, cucumbers, carrots, bananas, and watermelon). Also, products like MI paste, fluoridated over-the-counter toothpaste, and some mouth rinses are safe and can prevent cavities during pregnancy. At our office we have a guideline for you to follow during and after your pregnancy. Ask for your copy!

Q: Can I Do Harm If I Don’t Go to the Dentist While Pregnant?

A: In some cases when a mother has not been to a dentist in years, she may develop periodontal disease. This disease is related to inflammation, and there have been studies that link preterm and low birth weight babies to mothers with periodontal disease. It is important to have this treated before pregnancy; if you are pregnant, it is important to have it treated as soon as possible. Ask for a copy of our brochure “What to Expect When You’re Expecting: A New Mom’s Guide to Oral Health.”

Pediatric Dentistry

A:

Q: At What Age Should My Child Start Seeing a Dentist?

A: We recommend the first dental visit be six months after their first tooth erupts or their first birthday, whichever comes first. Our goal is to have happy and healthy patients who love coming to see us no matter what age they are! Ask about our brochure “A Guide to Your Child’s Oral Health” for more information on your child’s first dental visit.

Q: Is Baby Orajel Safe?

A: No. The baby will ingest it and this can lead to a condition called methemoglobinemia, which if neglected can lead to serious conditions including permanent brain damage.

Insurance/Finances

A:

Q: What Is the Difference Between In-Network and Out-of-Network Providers?

A: We accept both in-network and out-of-network plans. The difference with out-of-network plans is that your insurance company will not pay what other insurance companies will toward our fees.

Q: How Do I Know What My Insurance Covers?

A: With every visit, we will do a complimentary insurance breakdown so you will know exactly what your insurance covers before you incur any charges. If you are a new patient, as we are gathering records we will have a team member working on the details of your insurance coverage.

Dental Hygiene

A:

Q: I Have Diabetes. Why Is My Dentist Concerned?

A: Research today suggests a link between gum disease and diabetes. It has been established that people with diabetes are more prone to gum disease. Be sure to see your dentist regularly for checkups.

Q: What Are Some Symptoms of Oral Cancer?

A: Symptoms include a sore that doesn’t heal, a lump, or a white or red patch on the inside of the mouth. Regular visits to the dentist or dental hygienist are the first line of defense against oral cancer.

Toothbrushes/Toothpaste/Flossing

A:

Q: Are Electric Toothbrushes More Effective Than Manual Toothbrushes?

A: Yes. A manual toothbrush often misses plaque in hard-to-reach areas. Also, you’ll reach only around 300 strokes (or less) per minute with a manual toothbrush. A Sonicare toothbrush has 30,000 strokes per minute. This increase in stroke volume will help vibrate plaque and bacteria from your gums and may help keep teeth whiter.

Q: How Often Should I Change My Toothbrush?

A: Replace toothbrushes every three to four months. Consider getting a new toothbrush sooner if you have been sick, especially if the toothbrush is stored close to other toothbrushes. Look at the bristles; if they are frayed, they won’t clean teeth as thoroughly.

Dental Emergencies

A:

Q: What Should I Do If a Tooth Gets Knocked Out?

A: Here are some steps that might help ensure that Perfect Smiles can save your smile:

  • Don’t touch the root of the tooth.
  • Rinse it off with milk if dirty.
  • Keep it moist by dropping it into a glass of milk.
  • Come to our office as quickly as possible.
  • You can also call the office any time after business hours and press 3 to reach a clinician.

Q: My Tooth Is Cracked. How Should I Proceed?

A: If you’ve got a cracked tooth, clean the area by rinsing your mouth with warm water. Put cold compresses on the face to keep any swelling down and come to our office as quickly as possible. You can also call the office any time after business hours and press 3 to reach a clinician.

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