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A: Millions of people struggle with bad breath (halitosis), despite daily teeth brushing. Here is a checklist of procedures that can eliminate the problem: twice daily brushing, daily flossing, and tongue cleaning; regular professional cleanings; and, careful cleaning of any dentures or removable dental appliances. However, if your hygiene is meticulous and the problem persists, we can offer several solutions.
First, we can provide a plastic tool called a tongue scraper that cleans away bacterial build-up on your tongue, significantly alleviating odor. Or, we can recommend a specially-prepared rinse or toothpaste designed to actually breakdown the odor-causing sulfur bonds that cause bad breath. Finally, we may also suspect a systemic or internal problem such as an infection or underlying condition, in which case we may recommend a visit with your family physician or specialist to identify the cause.
A: If your doctor has recommended a crown to you, it is likely either to correct a broken tooth or to repair a tooth that has deteriorated due to cavities (decay). The decay in your tooth eats away healthy tooth structure much like the way rust eats away at metal. If not removed, decay will deteriorate the tooth to the point where extraction is the only viable treatment option. Sometimes, decay is removed leaving healthy tooth structure but not much of it. A crown can then be placed, restoring the look and function of your tooth, while allowing you to keep your natural, underlying tooth structure. Most crowns are precision-milled porcelain or full metal (gold or silver) and are individually customized for each application in each patient, giving you a natural, long-lasting smile.
A: Yes, we do offer digital radiographs (X-rays). Digital X-rays use less radiation and are safer for you than traditional film X-rays. You will find that Dr. Crawford researches the latest trends in technology to find the solutions that promote your overall health, safety, and comfort.
A: Research shows that fluoride reduces cavities in both children and adults by halting tooth decay. It also helps repair the early stages of tooth decay even before the decay becomes visible. Interestingly, many people continue to be misinformed about fluoride and fluoridation. Fluoride is a safe chemical component when used correctly. When Dr. Crawford applies fluoride to your teeth, usually in the form of a fluoride varnish, gel, or foam, that fluoride is more concentrated than the fluoride contained in toothpaste or mouthwash. The ADA recommends that dental professionals use any of the professional strength fluoride varnish, gel, or foam products carrying the ADA Seal of Acceptance.
A: You are not alone. Your smile is the first thing people notice about you, and most people want their smiles to be beautiful. You may only need a few minor adjustments, or you may have concerns that need more attention. Either way, there are treatments that can give you the engaging smile you have always wanted. Your smile can be enhanced with simple whitening or bonding treatments, or if you need a little more extensive treatment, options such as porcelain veneers, crowns, or bridges; gum contouring; periodontal therapy; or, a combination of these techniques are available to you. Based on your goals, your areas of concern, and the overall condition of your oral health, Dr. Crawford will suggest a plan for you. Contact us today for a complimentary smile evaluation to determine what course of action will produce the best solution for you.
A: Dr. Crawford has a number of ways to improve the look of your front teeth without the use of braces. For slightly crooked or unevenly worn teeth, a bit of reshaping and the addition of porcelain veneers may be sufficient to give them a bright, uniform look. In more pronounced cases, it may be necessary to recommend an invisible braces technique. Ask Dr. Crawford and his team which option best suits your individual situation.
A: Losing a back tooth will darken your overall smile making it look smaller and narrower. Your smile will appear to stop short, and the look will be exaggerated if your missing tooth has teeth on both sides of it. Function during chewing will be reduced and function of many teeth can be affected by losing just one tooth. When you are missing a tooth, you compensate by chewing differently, putting pressure on different parts of your mouth. This can cause your other teeth to shift, creating gaps and spaces, and may even cause fractures that result in additional tooth loss or the need for restorations.
A: By replacing missing teeth either with a bridge or implant, you will alleviate the problems associated with missing a tooth and give your smile back its beautiful, full appearance. A bridge is one solution for replacing a tooth. By using neighboring teeth as the supportive structure, Dr. Crawford places a porcelain restoration into the vacant space, restoring the functionality and look of your smile. A dental implant is also an excellent solution. Dental implants involve the placement of a titanium post directly into the jawbone. Once the post has bonded to the bone, it can act as a new, solid support for a natural looking, porcelain restoration. Implants can replace a single tooth, or an entire set of teeth, offering more function and permanence than traditional dentures.
A: During your first appointment, your overall dental and oral health will be assessed with a comprehensive oral evaluation. Upon completion of your medical/dental health form, we will ask you to tell us your goals regarding your smile, teeth, and gums. Digital photos and X-rays will be taken of your teeth to identify areas of decay, cracked teeth, and malfunctioning restorations. Our goal is to preserve as much of your teeth as possible by catching decay in its earliest stages. We'll also assess your gums and will recommend the appropriate hygiene treatment for you.
A: Yes, we do accept referrals from other dental offices, as well as recommendations from by our patients to their families and friends.
A: Many people who notice chipped or cracked teeth, but don't remember when the injury occurred, damaged their teeth while they were sleeping. Grinding or clenching your teeth during the night will cause your teeth to chip, crack, and even break. To keep you from seriously damaging your teeth, we recommend a dental appliance called a nightguard. A custom-fitted nightguard protects your teeth from grinding and clenching in your sleep. Dr. Crawford takes great care in making sure you have a proper fit to prevent pain in your jaw joint. Do you suffer from headaches? You may find that a side benefit of your nightguard is headache prevention. Many headaches start during the night, caused by the extreme pressure generated as you grind and clench your teeth. Ask us about having a nightguard custom created just for you.
A: Yes, we do offer monthly payment plans with our financial partner, CareCredit™. We provide a variety of ways for you to pay for your treatment so that it fits comfortably into your personal or family financial goals. Dr. Crawford and his team work with you to create the solution that accommodates you so you can have the beautiful, healthy smile you have always desired.
A: Dental insurance is designed to assist you in paying for your dentistry. Most procedures are not fully covered by your insurance. Cosmetic dentistry, in particular, is not covered by most dental insurance plans. To help you afford your smile, we do offer a variety of payment options in addition to a monthly payment plan provided by our financial partner, CareCredit™. We also pay special attention to maximizing the benefits that your insurance does provide. Ask us how you can comfortably afford your dentistry and maximize your dental insurance benefits.
A: We accept cash, check, Visa, MasterCard, or Discover. In addition, our office has partnered with CareCredit™ to offer our patients a variety of affordable, flexible payment options. Several payment plans are available, including interest-free (if paid within the promotional period), no initial down payment, extended payment plans up to 48 months, with prepayment allowed anytime. For more information, please call our office, or visit www.carecredit.com.
A: It is certainly not desirable to have bleeding gums following brushing. However, the condition may or may not require attention, depending on the source of the problem. Bleeding gums can be caused by any of the following: improper, rough "scrubbing" instead of gentle, circular brushing motions; using a hard-bristled toothbrush instead of a soft one; plaque and/or tartar build-up below the gum line; or, gum sensitivity due to gingivitis or periodontal disease. If this problem persists despite correct brushing and flossing methods, or if it occurs every time you brush, contact our office to set-up an evaluation appointment with Dr. Crawford.
A: Periodontal disease (also called gum disease or gingivitis) refers to the infection of the supportive tissues of the mouth due to toxic bacteria found in plaque. Many individuals suffer from some degree of gum disease, and if left untreated, gum disease can cause tooth loss, breakdown of the soft tissue in the mouth and jaw, and other significant health problems. Dr. Crawford assesses and diagnoses your periodontal health, and if needed, advises the appropriate therapy to restore your gums and supportive tissues. Then, our specially trained hygienists administer advanced periodontal therapy.
A: A sealant is a plastic material that is usually applied to the chewing surfaces of the back teeth — premolars and molars. This plastic resin bonds into the depressions and grooves (pits and fissures) of the chewing surfaces of back teeth. The sealant acts as a barrier, protecting enamel from plaque and acids and guarding against disease-causing bacteria. Thorough brushing and flossing help remove food particles and plaque from smooth surfaces of teeth. However, toothbrush bristles cannot reach all the way into the depressions and grooves to efficiently extract food and plaque. Sealants protect these vulnerable areas by "sealing out" plaque and food.
A: Most dental pain brought on by chewing is caused by a fracture, or crack, in the tooth. The pain can be corrected by placing an inlay/onlay, a porcelain crown, or with more advanced treatment. You want to correct the pain as soon as possible to prevent further damage to the tooth. Contact us today to schedule a visit.
A: A veneer is a thin strip of porcelain that is bonded to the front of your teeth and artistically shaped to enhance the look of your smile. Porcelain veneers improve your appearance by correcting a multitude of cosmetic concerns including: gaps in teeth; chips and broken teeth; dull or yellowing teeth that cannot be whitened with traditional means; "gummy smiles" (showing too much gum when one smiles); and, crooked teeth. Porcelain veneers broaden, straighten, whiten, and beautify most any smile. This procedure can be done in as little as two clinical visits. Many of our patients feel like this was the best improvement that could have been done for their overall confidence. Ask us about how porcelain veneers can improve your smile at your next visit.
A: Dentist directed, at-home whitening is an effective way of brightening your smile. Dr. Crawford customizes the treatment to ensure your happiness with the results. Your home-whitening kit involves a special tray that is custom-made to fit over your teeth. You also receive prescription whitening gel, which is inserted into the tray before you wear it. Dr. Crawford gives you detailed instructions about how long you should wear the tray each day, and you should expect the entire home whitening process to take between two and four weeks, leaving you with a dazzling, white smile.