Cosmetic Care FAQ

1My old fillings in the front have turned dark. Can dental fillings be bleached?
Unfortunately, dental bondings, composite resin fillings, and old crowns cannot be bleached. Fillings that have discoloration indicate that they are either leaking or have secondary decay and it is best to replace them with porcelain laminate or veneers.
2How long does bleach / teeth whitening last?
This depends on a lot of factors including your diet, the original color of your teeth, and your personal habits like smoking and drinking red wine. Darker teeth will need more than one whitening session to achieve the desired result. The most important factor is keeping an effective maintenance regiment at home, such as using whitening toothpaste. Be sure to use the touch-up kit given to you by your 7 Day Dental Dentist to keep bleached teeth at their whitest.
3I have one dark tooth in the front. Will regular at-home teeth whitening make it lighter?
Before you start a whitening regimen, the cause of the dark tooth must be determined. If your tooth is dark due to an earlier trauma to the tooth or a previous root canal, external teeth whitening treatments may not help. You can try other procedures such as internal bleaching, dental bonding, porcelain veneers, or crowning the tooth.
4Will my teeth be sensitive following bleaching?
Possibly. You can dramatically reduce sensitivity by using toothpaste made for sensitive teeth to brush your teeth the week prior to and the week following the bleaching process. Your Seven Day Dental Dentist may also recommend a fluoride treatment.
5What is the difference between dental bonding and porcelain veneers?
Dental bonding is a plastic tooth-colored resin material that is molded onto your teeth and hardened with a blue light. This is usually done in one visit, and usually no anesthesia is required. They may stain, chip, and need to be replaced more often.

Porcelain veneers are thin layers of stacked porcelain that are fabricated in the lab and bonded to your teeth. This usually takes 2 visits and some anesthesia is required. Veneers are stronger than dental bondings and are less prone to staining.
6I have a space between my two front teeth. How can the gap in my teeth be closed?
There are several options for closing a tooth gap. Your dentist may offer dental bondings, veneers, or orthodontics. Just ask during your next dental visit to 7 Day Dental Smiles in Post Falls and discuss the options that work best for you.
7If I require fillings, what type should I get?
In the past, silver or amalgam fillings were used extensively. They are not tooth colored, stain teeth over time, and healthier tooth structure may have to be removed to retain them since they do not bond to your teeth. Your dentist may advise composite (tooth colored fillings) or porcelain inlays or onlays. Since tooth colored fillings bond to your teeth, there is no need to remove healthy tooth structure. You and your dentist can decide which filling is right for you.
8I have a “gummy” smile. Can anything be done?
Tissue sculpting (gingivectomy) can be done to achieve a beautiful healthy smile. You may require a referral to a periodontist who specializes in gum disease and care.

Restorative Care

1What is tooth decay (caries or cavities)?
Tooth decay, also known as caries or cavities, is a highly preventable disease caused by bacteria. Bacteria use sugars in your mouth to create an acid-rich environment that creates holes in your teeth.
2Who is at risk to tooth decay?
Everyone is a potential target for cavities. Risk factors that put a person at a higher risk for tooth decay include a diet high in sweets, carbohydrates, and sugars; limited or no fluoridated water supplies, and a young or older age range.
3Why should I spend a lot of money on a root canal? Why not just pull the tooth?
Losing a tooth can be the beginning of many more lost teeth. Saving the tooth maintains space, keeps other teeth from shifting, and eliminates the need and cost of a bridge or implant. Although it may seem expensive, it is actually quite cost effective.
4What are dental implants?
Dental implants are made of titanium and placed directly into your jawbone surgically. Once they integrate with your bone, a crown, bridge, or denture is placed over the implants.

Periodontal Care (Gum Care)

1What is “plaque” and how does it affect my teeth?
Plaque is a colorless, sticky film of bacteria that constantly forms on teeth. If left undisturbed, it hardens to form tartar. The bacteria in the plaque produce byproducts that can not only irritate the gums and make them bleed, but can also lead to periodontal disease. A daily regimen of proper brushing, flossing, and rinsing, along with regular dental visits, will help you keep your teeth healthy.
2My gums bleed when I brush or floss. Is this normal?
This is most likely a sign of early gingivitis. If you experience bleeding gums, see your dentist to review proper brushing and flossing techniques. You can also schedule a soft tissue evaluation that will include X-rays and prophylaxis cleaning. Gum bleeding can be very serious because if left untreated, it can lead to periodontal disease.
3How often should I have my teeth cleaned?
People accumulate plaque at different rates. Although most insurance plans cover biannual cleanings, your dentist may recommend a cleaning more often.
4How many times should I floss my teeth?
At least once a day. If you do not floss every day, you’ll be 75% more susceptible to periodontal disease which can lead to a higher likelihood of heart disease, diabetes, pneumonia, and infections.
5How does bad breath occur?
Bad breath occurs when sulfur compounds are produced in the body and released into the area. The most common source of this sulfur is anaerobic bacteria that live in the grooves or fibers at the back of the tongue. These bacteria produce the sulfur that gives off an unpleasant smell. It occurs more frequently when the mouth is dry, and more sulfur compounds are produced when certain types of food are consumed. The compounds make their way into the bloodstream and then to the lungs, where they are excreted into the air we exhale.
6What causes bad breath?
Bad breath is caused by many factors. Normally, saliva helps wash away the natural buildup of bacteria in the mouth and on the tongue. Yet, when saliva sits on the back of the tongue and is digested by bacteria, it shows up as a white film on the tongue. This is a major source of bad breath. Bad breath can also be caused by a postnasal drip – a condition where the back of the tongue and throat accumulate high amounts of protein, which bacteria thrive on. Foods that are high in protein or acidity, such as fish, milk, cheese or coffee also cause bad breath. Dieting or fasting, both of which involve a low intake of calories, can cause bad breath by reducing the saliva in the mouth. Contrary to popular belief, stomach problems do not cause bad breath.
7How can I prevent bad breath?
Proper oral hygiene eliminates many cases of bad breath. Daily brushing and flossing removes the plaque and bacteria that often cause bad breath. When brushing, take special care to thoroughly brush the back of the tongue where bacteria normally collect. Mints and mouthwashes can hide bad breath, but do not eliminate this condition. Avoid foods with powerful odors and drink lots of water to insure the mouth is cleansed and full of oxygen.

Orthodontics/Braces

1What is orthodontics?
Orthodontics is a dental specialty that focuses on the development, prevention, and correction of irregularities of the teeth, bite, and jaws. You may be referred to an orthodontist by your family dentist. The American Dental Association recommends that every child receive an orthodontic evaluation by the age of 7.
2Why choose orthodontic treatment?
An orthodontic treatment is also known as a malocclusion or “bad bite.” Misaligned, crooked, or crowed teeth, missing teeth, extra teeth, overbites, open bites, and misaligned or incorrect jaw position are problems that can be helped or minimized by proper orthodontic treatment.
3At what age do braces become appropriate?
In most cases, the ideal age for braces and other orthodontic treatments is between 10-14 years of age, although persons of any age can benefit from treatment. However, adults must overcome already positioned facial bones and jaw structure and may require more than one type of orthodontic treatment.
4What are the different types of braces available?
Braces, also known as fixed orthodontic appliances, generally come in 3 varieties – metal or plastic brackets, Lingual-type brackets, and bands. Metal or plastic, clear or tooth-colored brackets are bonded to the teeth. Lingual-type brackets attach to the back of the teeth and are hidden from view. Brands cover most of the teeth with metal bands that wrap around your teeth. All three types use wires to move the teeth to the desired position.
5What is Invisalign?
Invisalign uses a series of clear, removable aligners to gradually move your teeth to give you the smile you always wanted without the pain and anxiety involved with metal braces. You wear a set of Invisalign aligners for about 2 weeks, removing them only to eat, drink, brush, and floss. As you replace each set of aligners with the next in the series, your teeth will gradually move until they reach the desired position. The average treatment time is about a year. Call your dentist today to find out if this treatment is right for you.

Oral Surgery

1What are wisdom teeth?
Wisdom teeth, also known as third molars, usually make their first appearance in young adults between the ages of 15-25. Because most mouths are too small for these four additional molars, an extraction procedure is often necessary, sometimes immediately after they surface.
2When should wisdom teeth be removed?
If you experience painful infection in the mouth, facial swelling, or swelling of the gum line in the back of the mouth, you may need to have an extraction. Early removal of wisdom teeth will help eliminate problems, such as an impacted tooth that destroys the second molar.
3What problems are often associated with impacted third molars?
You may experience bacteria and plaque build-up, cyst development, tumor development, infection, and jaw and gum disease.
4What is involved in the extraction procedure?
Wisdom tooth extraction surgery involves removing the gum tissue that presides over the tooth, gently detaching the connective tissue between the tooth and the bone, removing the tooth, and suturing the opening in the gum line.
5What is a Dry Socket?
Dry Socket is the most common complication of extraction (removing a tooth). Following an extraction, a patient may experience pain due to the loss of the blood clot from the socket, thus exposing the bone to air, food, and fluids. The patient experiences excruciating pain along with an offensive odor. This often occurs 2 or more days after an extraction and can last about 5-6 days.

This condition occurs most commonly:
• In individuals who smoke before their recommended time. Smoking decreases healing, decreases blood supply to the protective blood clot, brings toxic products to the area, injures the gum tissue, and the sucking pressure removes the clot from the surgery site.
• If you do not care for your extraction site as instructed by staff.
• Not following home care instructions.
• Sucking action from smoking, sneezing, coughing, spitting, or sucking within the first 24 hours.
• Women taking oral contraceptives are more susceptible.

Dental Emergencies

1What if I need an after hours dentist or emergency dental office in Post Falls?
7 Day Dental Smiles is open after hours Monday through Thursday and open on the weekends. If you need an emergency dental office in Post Falls or just an after hours dental office in Post Falls to accommodate your work/school schedule, 7 Day Dental Smiles is here for you.
2What should I do in a dental emergency?
According to the American Dental Association, the difference between saving and losing a knocked out tooth is 30 minutes following the incident.

To save the tooth, follow these steps:
• Rinse the tooth in tap water
• Avoid scrubbing the tooth
• Insert the tooth into the empty socket quickly
• If you are uncomfortable inserting the tooth, put the tooth in milk or water and get to the dentist immediately