At 7 Day Dental Smiles, we are dedicated to your care! If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment with Dr. Rheanna Burnham, Matt Fletcher, Scott Lake, Jim Landers, Zachary Miller, Truman Nielsen or Keira Greene, please call us today at 208-773-8388 and learn more about dental care in Post Falls, Idaho.

Cosmetic Care
Will 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. We may also recommend a fluoride treatment.

What 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 two visits and some anesthesia is required. Veneers are stronger than dental bondings and are less prone to staining.

My 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.

If 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.

I 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.

I 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. Our dentists may offer dental bondings, veneers, or orthodontics. Just ask during your next dental visit to 7 Day Dental Smiles and discuss the options that work best for you.

I 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.

How 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 to keep bleached teeth at their whitest.

Dental Emergencies
What should I do in a dental emergency?
According to the American Dental Association®, the difference between saving and losing a knocked-out tooth happens within 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

What 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 is open on the weekends. If you need an emergency dental office or just an after-hours dental office to accommodate your work or school schedule, we are here for you.

Oral Surgery
When 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 a second molar.

What 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.

What 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.

What 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 two 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 properly care for your extraction site as instructed by our team.
  • 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.

What 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.

Orthodontics/Braces
What 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.

What 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 two 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 us today to find out if this treatment is right for you.

What are the different types of braces available?
Braces, also known as fixed orthodontic appliances, generally come in three 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 teeth to the desired position.

At 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.

Periodontal Care
What 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.

What 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.

My 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.

How 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.

How many times should I floss my teeth?
At least once a day. If you do not floss every day, you will be 75% more susceptible to periodontal disease which can lead to a higher likelihood of heart disease, diabetes, pneumonia and infections.

How 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.

How can I prevent bad breath?
Proper oral hygiene eliminates many cases of bad breath. Daily brushing and flossing remove 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 ensure the mouth is cleansed and full of oxygen.

Restorative Care
Why 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 cost effective.

Who is at risk for 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.

What 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.

What are dental implants?
Dental implants are made of titanium and surgically placed directly into your jawbone. Once they integrate with your bone, a crown, bridge or denture is placed over the implants.

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