Q: What should I expect on my first visit to Dr. Schuman?
A: After a review of your medical history, Dr. Schuman and his staff will take only the necessary digital x-rays that are needed for your exam. After the x-rays are taken, Dr. Schuman will listen to any concerns or expectations that you may have regarding your dental treatment. Upon listening to and answering those questions, Dr. Schuman will complete a thorough examination of your teeth and gums. During this time, he will take intraoral pictures of all of your teeth so that you are able to see what he sees. Finally, Dr. Schuman will review your x-rays, the intraoral pictures, findings and recommendations that he may have for your dental health.
Q: What can I expect for a regular cleaning appointment?
A: A patient at can expect:
- Removal of plaque and tartar
- Stain removal
- Polishing of fillings or crowns
- if requested by an adult, fluoride application
- any child routinely receives fluoride application, and, if necessary placement of sealants
Q: What is the Best Technique for Brushing?
A: There are a number of effective brushing techniques. Patients are advised to check with their dentist or hygienist to determine which technique is best for them, since tooth position and gum condition vary. One effective, easy-to-remember technique involves using a circular or elliptical motion to brush a couple of teeth at a time, gradually covering the entire mouth. Place a toothbrush beside your teeth at a 45-degree angle and gently brush teeth in an elliptical motion. Brush the outside of the teeth, inside the teeth, your tongue, the chewing surfaces and between teeth. Using a back-and-forth motion causes the gum surface to recede, can expose the root surface or make the root surface tender. You also risk wearing down the gum line.
Q: Why should I floss?
A: Floss removes plaque and debris that adhere to teeth and gums in between teeth, polishes tooth surfaces and controls bad breath. By flossing your teeth daily, you increase the chances of keeping your teeth a lifetime and decrease your chance of having periodontal (gum) disease and tooth decay. Flossing is the single most important weapon against plaque, perhaps more important than the toothbrush. A toothbrush cleans the tops and sides of your teeth. Dental floss cleans between them. Some people use waterpicks, but floss is the best choice. Many people just don’t spend enough time flossing and many have never been taught to floss properly. When you visit your dentist or hygienist, ask to be shown.
Q: Is the treatment for adults the same as for children?
A: Treatment can vary between adults and children, because the adult mouth has finished growing.
Q: How can you fix a missing tooth?
A: The tooth can be rehabilitated by using a ceramic bridge or by using a dental implant.
Q: What is a ceramic bridge?
A: A bridge is a number of crowns joined together and supported by strengthened adjacent teeth that have undergone root canal treatment.
Q: What is the rate of success for dental implants?
A: Implants have been used for over 20 years and are well documented in the literature. The success rate is influenced by many factors, among them the general health of the patient, infections, fit of the implant, etc. Although there is a high rate of success, there are failures from time to time, which can be due to systemic factors, such as chronic diseases (uncontrolled diabetes), smoking, etc.
Q: What is periodontal disease?
A: Periodontal disease is an inflammation of the gum tissue, which can eventually lead to losing your teeth. In order to prevent inflammation and infection, proper hygiene should be followed in order to remove plaque between the gum line and between the teeth every day, By brushing correctly, flossing or using toothpicks or other appliances that the doctor or hygienist recommends.
Q: What symptoms should I look out for?
A: Bleeding gums when brushing, bad taste and smell breath, swollen gums, sensitivity to touch, receding gums, loose teeth and pain.
Q: What is the best way to treat of gum infections?
A: Treatment varies depending on the severity of the disease. Plaque must be removed by a hygienist, and if there are any cavities or other issues with the teeth they must be taken care of as well. It is advised to use a mouthwash daily. It is important to come for regular checkups in order to maintain healthy gums.
Q: How does tooth decay begin and how can it be prevented?
A: Tooth decay is caused these main factors: eating sweets (carbohydrates and sugar), letting bacteria remain too long on the teeth (not properly brushing your teeth before bedtime), not taking care of your teeth and letting food remain on the damaged teeth. It is possible to prevent dental caries by proper brushing and good dental hygiene, and eating less sweets and carbohydrates.
Q: Does Dr. Schuman use metal or white fillings? What is the difference?
A: Dr. Schuman only uses white fillings. Metal fillings are made from metal amalgams, which can last a very long time. They are not very aesthetic, and require a more extensive removal of tooth material. White fillings are made from a composite material, which can be adjusted to the color of the tooth. They require less tooth structure removal, are more aesthetic and are more conservative overall.
Q: Is chewing gum bad for my teeth?
A: In the eighties, artificial sweeteners in blue and pink packets, diet soda and sugar-free gum set the standard as “healthy” alternatives to their sugar-laden parent products. Today, there’s another sweetener called xylitol touting sweet-as-sugar taste that is low in calories, and studies show it may help reduce and prevent cavities. A natural sweetener found in plants and fruits, xylitol was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1986 as a food additive and is now appearing in sugar-free gum, mints and toothpaste. Research confirms that of all factors studied, xylitol most likely inhibits the growth of Streptococcus mutans, the oral bacteria that causes cavities, according to Allen Otsuka, PhD, one author of a study in the July/August 2002 issue of General Dentistry, the clinical, peer-reviewed publication of the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD).
Q: Cancelling my appointment?
A: If you need to cancel an appointment, please notify our office at least 24 hours in advance.