Q: I am terrified of coming to the dentist. Is there anything you can do to lessen my anxiety?

Most fears start at any early age and usually involve an unpleasant experience. Here at our office it starts with trust. Once you build a trusting relationship between the patient, the doctor and the staff, that fear tends to diminish somewhat. We also offer sedation. Usually the patient will take one pill the night before the appointment and one pill one hour before the treatment. Once in the chair we will administer nitrous oxide, which is a gas that is inhaled. This combination works well for most people. We also use topical anesthetic. It is placed at the site where the injection will take place. The key is to put you in an environment where you can feel relaxed.  Most people find that after a few appointments with us their anxiety is greatly diminished.  An ipod is also very handy to bring with you.


Q: Are my silver fillings causing harm to my health and my teeth and should I consider having them replaced?

There has never been any evidence to show that amalgam (silver) restorations cause any adverse health effects. Thus, we don’t routinely recommend their removal. However, the technology behind composite (tooth colored) fillings is very good, so almost all new fillings placed in our office are tooth colored. In your case, we would continue to monitor your existing fillings for wear, leakage, breakage, cracks, or other potential problems and replace them as needed. However, tooth colored filling cannot be used in every situation, and if a tooth is badly broken-down, a crown (cap) will usually be necessary and provide better overall protection for the tooth.


Q: When should I bring my child in for his/her first visit?

The American Dental Association recommends a dental visit at the age of one. In our office, we usually have your child, around the age of 2, start coming to your dental appointments. At your appointment we will take the time to explain to your child what we are doing and possibly even have them sit in the chair for a quick peak. The goal is to get them familiar with the office and the staff. This is usually a good transition before we schedule their first visit. We love seeing kids in our office and most of them think coming to the dentist is fun. If your child hasn’t seen a dentist and you see something in their mouth that concerns you please feel free to give us a call.


Q: I’m concerned about the radiation from x-rays.  Do you use anything different?

Yes, in our office we use digital x-rays.  As compared to the traditional x-ray there is 90% less radiation used to capture the image.  The image displays instantly on a computer screen, which will save you time and enables you to more easily visualize what we are seeing.


Q: I drink a lot of diet pop.  Is diet pop less harmful to my teeth than regular?

In essence yes, diet pop contains a sugar substitute, which is more desirable than the high sugar content in regular pop.  However, studies show that the acidity of sodas may well be the component most damaging to tooth structure, so in this regard diet sodas are as much to blame as regular.  We usually recommend that our patients be very aware of their soda intake, whether diet or otherwise, and moderate their intake accordingly.


Q: How often do I need to see the dentist?

For most people twice a year is recommended.  When we see our patients every 6 months we are able to catch potential problems when they are small, thus making the repair easier and less costly.  This also enables us to try to prevent any future problems, like sensitivity or pain, which keeps our patients happy.


Q: Is cosmetic whitening safe for my teeth?  If so, can I use over-the-counter products?

With the bleaching products that we have today, whitening can be safely accomplished with no adverse affect on the health of your teeth.  In our office we take impressions of the upper and lower teeth and make very thin trays that the patient wears either during the day for a couple hours or over night while they sleep.  We do offer in-office bleaching for the patient who has very heavy stained teeth, such as tetracycline staining.  We do not recommend any OTC whitening products at this time.  Bleaching trays or strips, which are not custom fit may allow the whitening agent to come into contact with the gum tissues, thus causing irritation.  Each patient is different; some are better candidates than others, so feel free to ask about your individual situation at your next appointment.


Q: Which type of toothbrush should I use?

The brand of toothbrush isn’t as critical as the type of bristle and the size of the head.  The only toothbrush that should ever be used is one with soft bristles.  Ones with medium or hard bristles can cause damage to the gums and the tooth structure that they are brushing.  Patients say that it doesn’t feel as if anything is being cleaned when using a soft bristled brush, but as long as you are brushing for two minutes twice a day you are doing a good job.  Also, a small head allows you to get around every tooth more completely and is less likely to injure your gums.  In our office we do recommend the use of electric toothbrushes.  Again, feel free to ask about your own individual circumstances.


Q: How often should I floss?

We recommend that you floss at least once a day.  There are commercials that say rinsing with Listerine can replace flossing on a daily basis.  There is no true substitute for flossing.  Flossing helps to keep the gums healthy and prevents cavities between the teeth.



(402)463-6664  I  2217 W 12th St, Hastings, NE

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