FAQ’s

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Dental Implants:

Can I be a candidate for the dental implant procedure?

To determine your eligibility for dental implants, we base our decision on if you have sufficient bone support and healthy gums. Bone support helps to develop proper attachment to the newly implant material.

How does an implant procedure work?

A dental implant is typically made of titanium, a safe and physically powerful material that attaches firmly with your jawbone. After healing is complete from the implant placement procedure, we restore the function of the tooth by coupling it with crowns, bridges, dentures, or partials. This implant procedure replaces anywhere from one missing tooth with a single implant to multiple missing teeth with multiple implants.

Is the dental implant procedure painful?

Soreness would be expected, but it should not be a painful procedure. You can manage any possible discomfort with over-the-counter pain relievers for several days after surgery. We recommend that you follow the instructions to clean the surgical area thoroughly.

How long does the implant procedure take?

Dental implant procedures at our San Antonio dental office normally have four phases. The first phase is an evaluation and treatment plan. The second phase of the dental care procedure is the surgical procedure. The third phase is positioning the healing abutments, and the final phase is placing the crowns, bridges, denture, or partial dentures. This dental implant placement involves surgery — this process can last several months up to a year from beginning to completion.

How should I take care of my dental implants?

The best way to keep your dental implants in good condition is as simple as maintaining your natural teeth. Brush, floss, and have regular dental cleanings just like you do for your natural teeth. This kind of personal dental care helps to retain your beautiful smile.


Dentures:

What is the difference between full and partial dentures?

Full dentures are a complete prosthetic tooth replacement when all the teeth are missing. Partial dentures replace one or more missing teeth, receiving support and retention from underlying tissues and some or all of the remaining teeth.

Will I have to go without teeth while waiting for dentures?

No! An “immediate denture” is made before the removal of the teeth and placed on the same day that the teeth are extracted. In this case, it is often necessary to adjust the denture with some material to fit it properly as the site heals.

Are dentures comfortable?

Anyone who starts wearing dentures will experience some adjustment period. Patients with new dentures my feel self-conscious and will need some time to get used to speaking and eating with them. With full dentures, the uppers are frequently more stable than the lowers because uppers cover more surface area, allowing for a more “locked” fit. On the other hand, lowers are likely to be less stable since they cover less surface area, and movement of the tongue can unseat the denture. If this is a concern, a good solution is to have dental implants placed to give the denture something solid for attachment. Our dentists will help you if you want more detailed information regarding dental implant supported dentures.

How long will my dentures last?

The longevity of dentures will vary depending on how you take care of your dentures. Your rate of bone loss, biting force, diet, and the quality of your daily home dental care affect how long your dentures last. If you’ve been looking for dentures in San Antonio, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at Lee & Milani Family Dentistry for more information.


Crowns:

Are there any post-care instructions I need to follow?

It is usual to experience some sensitivity, particularly to cold and hot temperatures since after the procedures for the placement of the crown and bridge, the teeth require time to restore their health. You may experience soreness surrounding the recently placed restorations in the gum. The discomfort should calm down within a few days and will be controllable with an over-the-counter pain reliever.

How does it work when a crown or a bridge is placed?

First, your teeth will be reduced in size to make sure they have the proper shape for the final restoration that you will have in the following weeks. An impression will be obtained based on your bite and be sent to a dental lab to fabricate the crown or bridge by a dental technician. You will leave the office with a temporary restoration until the permanent one is ready for placement; typically it takes a couple of weeks.

Can I just have a filling instead of having crowns?

The reason you may need a crown instead of a filling is that there is insufficient tooth or a damaged tooth structure remaining that is unable to support a filling. Eventually, the inadequate or damaged tooth structure with a filling produces a failure resulting in a cracked tooth that causes further complications.


Bridges:

Is a crown or bridge right for me?

If you have a tooth that is damaged or decayed, but still intact, a dental crown may be right for you. If your tooth is missing, but its former position is surrounded by other tooth structures, a bridge may be the solution for you.

Should I select a dental implant as an alternative treatment to replace a missing tooth?

There are pros and cons to both dental treatment options and times where one may be possible but not the other. Lee & Milani Family Dentistry will provide the best treatment option for you throughout the consultation process.


Root Canals:

Is a root canal a painful procedure?

No! Local anesthetics and advanced equipment in modern dentistry assist root canal procedures and make them an extremely manageable procedure. Get your San Antonio root canal at our local dental office.

How do I know if a root canal is the right treatment for my tooth?

If the remaining tooth structure is sufficient to support and to preserve your natural tooth in your mouth with a crown after removing decayed and damaged tooth structures, a root canal procedure is probably the right treatment for the tooth.


Tooth Extractions:

Are there any instructions I need to follow after a tooth extraction?

Yes, it is essential to follow specific instructions for healing and preventing any complications. We will dispense instructions verbally and in written form. You should avoid certain foods and you need to keep the extraction or surgical site clean at all times. It is very important that you complete the entire course of antibiotic treatment if it has been prescribed for you to prevent further infection. In addition, you may be advised to stay away from smoking, which causes a condition known as “Dry Socket” and avoid drinking through a straw which delays the healing time as well.


Bone Grafting:

How is the bone grafting procedure performed?

The gums will be separated from the area and a graft material placed near the underlying bone. An organic or a synthetic barrier will be placed after placing the graft material to ensure that the gums do not grow into areas where the regenerated bone will eventually be occupied. Sutures will be given to the area.

Are there any post-surgical instructions I need to follow after the bone graft procedure?

Yes, it would be similar to the instructions after tooth extractions. You will be given verbal and written post-surgical instructions when you are dismissed. You may experience soreness, some pressure, and swollen gums; the discomfort can be easily managed with an over-the-counter pain reliever if you need it. As you may expect, eat soft foods in the day following the procedure and complete the entire treatment of prescribed antibiotic.


Gum Disease:

What are gingivitis and periodontitis?

Gingivitis and periodontitis are gum diseases triggered by an increase of bacteria along and below the gums. Gingivitis is the early stage of periodontal disease, but that does not indicate any bone and tissue loss. Gingivitis is noticed with symptoms like gum inflammation or gum bleeding that is treatable and reversible. Even though it is highly treatable, gingivitis is frequently left untreated and allows the gums to reach an advanced stage of a periodontal disease known as “Periodontitis.” Periodontitis is a type of gum disease that presents as receded and inflamed gums from the teeth that form “deep pocket depths,” progressing to further infected gums. Periodontitis requires more invasive treatments to prevent total tooth loss. However, in advanced periodontitis, which is the final state of gum disease, the fibers and bone supporting tissues are destroyed and teeth may need to be extracted if aggressive treatment cannot save them.

How can I tell if I have periodontal disease?

Many cases of periodontal disease do not exhibit apparent symptoms until they have reached advanced stages. For this reason, attending regular check-up is very important when it comes to preserving the vitality of your teeth and gums. There are some symptoms that patients can keep watch out for, including:

  1. Swollen or red gums
  2. Changes in the way certain teeth or overall bite feels
  3. Teeth that appear longer (a sign of a receding gum line)
  4. Persistent bad breath that remains even after brushing, flossing, or using mouthwash

Are any treatment options for periodontal disease available?

If we find out you are suffering from periodontal disease, a suggested treatment plan will be dependent on the severity of your actual condition. For mild cases of gum disease, more diligent oral hygiene at home may be enough to reverse any condition. When your gum condition involves moderate damage, an in-depth cleaning, known as descaling and root planning, can be very effective, as well as antibiotic therapy. In very severe cases of gum disease, surgical intervention may be required. Our doctors can work with you to determine and provide the best treatment for you.


Gum Recession:

What causes gum recession?

There are several different reasons for gum recession. The most common causes of gum recession include grinding your teeth (bruxism), atypical tooth positioning, genetics, excessive and aggressive brushing or flossing, trauma to gum tissue, gum disease, and poor oral health.


Sealants:

Will sealants prevent all tooth decay?

In general, sealant is exceptionally successful to avoid tooth decay in children, but they do not substitute other forms of preventive oral health care. Children should brush and floss, and also use fluoridated toothpaste as a daily oral hygiene at home. Regular dental exams and a balanced diet that is low in sugar are fundamental for keeping good, long-standing oral health as well.

What kind of procedure will be performed when my child gets sealants?

No drilling! The procedure to place sealants is very simple. We use a special gel to clean the surfaces of teeth before we place the sealant material. The sealant material hardens with a special light and the hardened layer works as a barrier to bacteria, which causes decay.

Is there any special care after sealants are placed?

No special or extra care is needed after sealants are placed. Normal eating habits and the function of the teeth should be checked at every dental appointment for wear and tear. Sealants that are damaged or missing can be replaced when needed.


Flouride:

What kind of fluoride treatments are available?

Fluoride may be in the form of varnish, foam, or a solution. Typically, it is applied with a cotton swab or brush, used as a rinse, or placed in a tray that is held in the mouth for a few minutes. After the dental treatment, you may be asked not to eat, drink, or rinse for at least 30 minutes to let the teeth absorb the fluoride and help repair microscopic carious areas. Fluoride treatments may be recommended every three, six, or 12 months depending on your oral health condition. We may recommend additional preventive measures if you are at a moderate or high risk of developing caries. These measures may include over-the-counter products or a prescription that is for therapeutic products, such as fluoride mouth rinses, gels, or antibacterial mouth rinses.

What is Silver Diamine Fluoride?

Silver Diamine Fluoride (SDF) is an FDA-approved medication that helps to reduce sensitivity, arrest cavities, and prevent further progression of dental infection.

How does Silver Diamine Fluoride (SDF) work?

Silver Diamine Fluoride (SDF) has two active ingredients: silver acts as an anti-microbial agent that kills the harmful bacteria that causes tooth decay. Fluoride helps to prevent additional decay from appearing.

When is Silver Diamine Fluoride (SDF) recommended?

Silver Diamine Fluoride (SDF) might be recommended for (but not limited to) the following patients:

  • Children who have severe decay
  • Elderly adults with root decay and decay under the crowns
  • Patients with special needs

What do you need to know?

Silver Diamine Fluoride (SDF) is an excellent tool to arrest tooth decay. It can be a first action treatment for dental decay before placing a filling. SDF prevents dental infection from spreading.

Thus, patients can postpone the filling procedure without risking their health. Some risks could be associated with this treatment, such as staining the tooth a dark silver color if there is an area of decay. The healthy teeth will not stain.

If you’d like more information, please contact our San Antonio dental clinic to schedule a consultation to determine the best treatment for you or your child.