Our patients often ask us some great questions about procedures and the dental office. We thought it would be helpful to share some of the most commonly asked questions for all our patients.
Q: How long does it take to do a “smile makeover” with veneers or crowns?
A: A “smile makeover” may take up to four to five appointments can be accomplished over a six-week period. After an initial consultation usually involving X-rays, models, and an examination, there is a second appointment to discuss the options, investment, and schedule – usually involving a custom-made wax prototype. If plans are made to proceed, there is a preparation date (involving temporaries) and a seating date (for the permanent crowns and/or veneers), two to three weeks apart. Often a follow-up appointment is made to fine-tune the result.
Q: Is gum contouring painful?
A: Gum contouring should be relatively easy, with little to no pain. When the procedure only involves the tissue covering the teeth, the gum tissue can be numbed up using just a topical anesthetic placed with a Q-tip and/or a very short injection. A diode laser can then be used to get rid of the tissue overgrowth resulting in a beautiful result.
Q: Can novocaine be given painlessly?
A: The novocaine injection or “shot” should be able to given painlessly. A technique using a topical anesthetic followed by a 2-3 second injection should be used to numb up the injection site. After a minute or so, the injection to numb up the tooth or teeth being worked on should not be felt at all.
Q: Is there any way to get rid of the numb feeling after a dental appointment?
A: There is a simple way to get rid of the numb feeling after a dental appointment. There is an “anti-anesthetic” called Oraverse. It can be given by injection (that shouldn’t hurt since you’re already numb) that will speed up the “recovery” by a few hours or so. The patient should be able to eat or go back to work within 30-45 minutes.
Q: Why do dentists wear microscopes on their glasses that have lights on them?
A: The microscopes that dentists wear on their glasses are called loops. They enable dentists to see things up close, resulting in better results for the patients. The light mounted to them can be focused on the work area and also makes it easier to see. (The yellow lens that is sometimes used over the light prevents the bonding composites to harden before they are meant to.)
Q: What is bonding?
A: Bonding is the process of adding a composite plastic to a tooth. It can be used as a filling material after a cavity/decay is removed or to add on to a tooth that has chipped, fractured, or discolored.