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Dental FAQ


Dental frequently ask questions forClackamas Implant & Oral Surgery Center

Taking Care of Your Teeth and Gums


How often should I visit the dentist?
How often should I brush and floss my teeth?
What is the proper way to brush my teeth?
What is the proper way to floss?
What is plaque?

Periodontal (Gum) Disease


What is periodontal (gum) disease?
What are the signs of periodontal disease?
How can I prevent periodontal disease?

All About Dental Implants


Are implants the right decision for me?
Are implants or bridges a better choice?
Can implants be used to restore multiple teeth?
Are implants expensive?
How long do implants last?
What if I do not have enough bone in my jaw for implants?
When an implant is surgically placed, how long until I get my new tooth?
How can I get a full set of teeth in one day?

Answers to FAQ

How often should I visit the dentist?"


You should visit the dentist at least twice a year. A dental exam can reveal early signs of decay and disease that you may not see or feel. Catching these conditions early can help control them before they get worse and harder to treat. Additionally, getting a cleaning by a trained professional will remove plaque in areas you may have missed or cannot reach.

How often should I brush and floss my teeth?


You should brush at least twice a day, once in the morning and once before going to bed. You should floss once a day as well.

What is the proper way to brush my teeth?


The following guidelines are important to brushing correctly:
•  Make sure to use a soft bristled brush. Hard bristled brushes can wear down the enamel of your teeth
•  Place your brush at a 45 degree angle to your gum line. Bristles should contact both the tooth surface and the gum line
•  Use short back and forth strokes or tiny circular movements to brush your teeth. Each movement should be no bigger than the size of each tooth
•  Make sure to use gentle strokes while brushing. Gentle strokes are effective in removing plaque, while too much pressure can wear down the enamel of your teeth
•  Brush all surfaces of each tooth, including the outer, inner and chewing surfaces of the teeth
•  Don't cut your brushing short! Make sure to brush for at least 2 minutes

What is the proper way to floss?


The following guidelines are important to flossing correctly:
•  Take 18 inches of floss and wind it around the middle finger of each hand. You can use these fingers to take up floss as it becomes dirty. Using your thumb and forefinger, pinch the floss leaving 1–2 inches in between for cleaning
•  Gently move the floss up and down in the spaces around your teeth. Never snap the floss down onto your gums, as it can cause damage
•  As you move the floss down into the space between two teeth, slide it up and down against the surface of one tooth. Gently clean at the gum line as well. Repeat this for the other tooth
•  Repeat this process for all of your teeth

What is plaque?


Plaque is a sticky, clear film which forms every day on teeth, from food debris and bacteria. If plaque is not removed, it can lead to gum disease and cavities. Regular dental check ups, along with brushing and flossing every day, can help prevent plaque buildup on teeth. In addition, avoiding sugary snacks and eating a balanced diet can help control plaque.

What is periodontal (gum) disease?


Periodontal (gum) disease is an infection of the gums and bone that hold your teeth in place. Typically, periodontal disease occurs when plaque builds up on the teeth and hardens, often due to poor brushing habits. The gums can become swollen and red in the early stage of the disease, called gingivitis. As the disease advances, periodontal disease can lead to sore and bleeding gums, pain while chewing and tooth loss.

What are the signs of periodontal disease?


The following are signs of periodontal (gum) disease, and you should contact your dentist if you experience any of these:
•  Gums that bleed while brushing
•  Red, swollen or tender gums
•  Gums that have pulled away from the teeth
•  Bad breath that doesn't go away
•  Pus between your teeth and gums
•  Loose teeth
•  A change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite
•  A change in the fit of partial dentures

How can I prevent periodontal disease?


Periodontal disease can be prevented by practicing good oral hygiene. This includes brushing, flossing and visiting your dentist regularly. Also make sure to eat a healthy diet to get the required vitamins and minerals necessary for your teeth.

Are implants the right decision for me?


Implants are made of titanium, a biocompatible material. They are used to replace one or more teeth, and can be an attractive option for most people. Some benefits to implants include:
•  They are integrated into bone and act like a tooth root to support new teeth
•  They do not decay or have the same gum disease risk as natural teeth
•  Implants look, feel, and act like natural teeth, unlike other options

Are implants or bridges a better choice?


A missing tooth would historically be replaced by a bridge. To anchor a bridge, the majority of the external tooth structure of the teeth on either side of the gap must be removed. With an implant, you only need a crown made on top of the implant itself to restore it, leaving the neighboring teeth undisturbed and completely intact.

Can implants be used to restore multiple teeth?


Implants can also be used to restore multiple teeth, a full set of fixed or removable teeth or even a complete denture. If you experience tooth loss, the bony ridges in your mouth start to decrease and be lost as well. Implants are placed and prevent bone from shrinking, leaving you many future options for tooth replacement not available otherwise.

Are implants expensive?


To replace a single tooth an implant is usually less expensive than any alternative in our office. The cost of implant care increases with the complexity of the case, the history of tooth loss and the position of the implant in the mouth.

How long do implants last?


Research has shown that implants are 98% successful: a higher success rate than almost anything else in dentistry! Under professional care, implants have a potential for lifetime durability. Ask us about our warranty.

What if I do not have enough bone in my jaw for implants?


Minor grafting can improve and restore the bone lost from your extraction years ago. We do this in the office frequently where additional bone is required for success of our implant care. It is possible to have an implant for virtually any situation with expert care and planning.

When an implant is surgically placed, how long until I get my new tooth?


For front teeth we strive to place teeth the same day in a temporary form. Posterior teeth are often left to rest 6–8 weeks prior to placing a functional chewing force on them. In cases where there is uncertainty about the strength of the bone, more time may be required to ensure longevity (7–10 months). In every case, clinical experience along with the prevailing research guides our decision to finalize the implant restoration. We always plan for long-term success and we do not rush.

How can I get a full set of teeth in one day?


With the use of CBCT scan planning we can plan for immediate teeth replacements and the ultimate in surgical precision. Planning takes all the time in these cases, however we can deliver exceptional care quickly and never leave you without teeth, regardless of your particular need or treatment. Learn more about Teeth in A Day or the All-on-4 Treatment Concept.

Brett Sullivan, DMD, MD
Board Certified Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeon

Clackamas Implant & Oral Surgery Center
9895 SE Sunnyside Rd, Suite P
Clackamas, OR 97015

Ph: 503-662-8744
Fax: 503-652-8992
Email: info@clackamasoralsurgery.com
Clackamas Implant & Oral Surgery Center - Brett Sullivan, DMD, MD | www.clackamasoralsurgery.com | 503-662-8744
9895 SE Sunnyside Rd, Suite P, Clackamas, OR 97015