FAQ

Frequently asked questions at Schinto Dental

Here are 15 common questions that our patients and website visitors ask. If you have questions that we haven’t addressed here, please feel free to ask the Schinto Dental staff directly.

When should my child come in for their first visit?
A child’s first visit should be made as stress free as possible for everyone. Typically, we like to see the child for the first time around the first birthday. I often suggest that parents bring their infants to the parents cleaning appointments so that the children can be familiar with the office in a very positive and non threatening way. The first visit will be very basic. We check to see if the erupted teeth are healthy and do an exam of the surrounding tissues to rule out any developmental issues and the counting of the teeth is the extent of the first visit. Your child will go home with a goodie bag and everyone is happy. We see the children at six month intervals each time introducing the children to a new aspect of a full exam and cleaning.

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How should I clean my young children’s teeth at home?
As soon as your newborn arrives home from the hospital, you need to start an oral hygiene regimen. Newborns and young infants with few or no teeth receive a gum rub with a damp wash cloth. Children with more teeth can start to have a small tooth brush of their own. A variety of toothpastes are available but look for toothpastes that carry the American Dental Association’s Seal of Acceptance and check the manufacturer’s label as some toothpastes are not recommended in children under age 6. To start, use a toothpaste without fluoride. As soon as a child can learn to spit out the toothpaste on their own, switch them to a toothpaste containing fluoride. Brush your child’s teeth twice a day once in the morning and just before bed. It is important to replace the toothbrush every 3 to 4 months or sooner if it shows signs of wear. Start flossing your child’s teeth once a day as soon as two teeth emerge that touch. Mouthwashes can be used once the children are capable of spitting and rinsing which are skills that occur around the age of 6.

I am always amazed when I ask a three year old, “who brushes your teeth?”, and the parent will interject to say how good of a brusher the child is. This is physically impossible! A three year old does not have the knowledge, dexterity or patience to be a quality brusher. Typically at age seven, the passing of the brush can take place.

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How often should I come in for a cleaning and check up?
A healthy adult, with no periodontal or restorative issues, should be seen every six months for a full cleaning and exam. The exam will include an oral cancer screening, periodontal screening and a decay check. Oral hygiene instruction is also given to those in need of a little help. For those patients with gum or decay issues, we see on a more frequent interval, three or four months. My reconstructive and cosmetic patients with lots of beautiful veneers and crowns are seen on three month intervals for a cleaning, exam and fluoride treatment.

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Why are x-rays necessary and are they dangerous?
An x-ray is like a photograph. The image on a radiograph is created when x-rays pass through the mouth, more x-rays are absorbed by the denser parts, such as teeth and bone, than by soft tissues, such as cheeks and gums, before striking the film. Because fewer x-rays penetrate the teeth to reach the film teeth appear lighter. Cavities and gum disease appear darker because of more x-ray penetration. Because any diseases exist beneath the visible oral tissue and cannot be detected without the use of radiographs, a radiograph is a valuable tooth for the dentist to safely and accurately detect hidden abnormalities. X-rays pose a far smaller risk to your health than undetected and untreated dental problems.

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What are dental sealants, who should get them, and how long do they last?
Sealants are a thin, plastic coating that re painted on the chewing surfaces of teeth, usually the back teeth, to prevent tooth decay. The painted on liquid sealant quickly bonds into the depressions and groves of the teeth forming a protective shield over the enamel of each tooth.

Typically, children should get sealants on their permanent molars and premolars as soon as these teeth come in. In this way, the dental sealants can protect the teeth through the cavity-prone years of ages 6 to 14. However, adults without decay or filling on their molars can also benefit from sealants.

Sealants can protect the teeth from decay for up to10 years but they need to be checked for chipping or wear at regular dental check-ups.

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How often should I be flossing?
Here at Schinto Dental, we have a saying, “Floss only the teeth you want to keep.” If you miss a day, don’t worry, but try to do it everyday so as to stay in the habit. It is truly critical for your overall oral health. It loosens food particles in tight spaces that your toothbrush cannot reach and it gets rid of plaque buildup that toothbrushes alone cannot remove and it exercises your gum tissues. All of this is necessary to avoid gum disease and cavities. People with certain conditions such as (but not limited to) Mitrovalve Prolapse, certain heart murmurs, prosthetic heart valves should be even more conscious about their oral homecare.

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My medical doctor prescribed prophylactic antibiotics for dental treatment because I have a heart murmur. Do I really need to take my antibiotics before my dental visit?
For a cleaning appointment, yes! For appointments with Dr. Schinto, please call our office, we will tell you whether or not the need is there. Some visits are noninvasive and do not require antibiotic coverage. If you do require coverage for your dental visit, be sure to take the proper dose at the proper time, usually one hour before and not when you get to your appointment!

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I’m pregnant so I will miss this cleaning appointment. OK?
Being pregnant is one of those times when oral care is most important. It has been shown that mothers with periodontal (or gum) problems are more at risk for pre-term labor and birthing babies with low birth weights. Our recommendation for pregnant mothers is to be seen by the hygienist at a four month interval. Pregnant mothers are also more susceptible to the ill effects of bacteria to their normally healthy gum tissue because of the change in hormones during pregnancy. That is the reason why pregnant women’s gums bleed very easily. The damage done to the gum tissue may be permanent even after the pregnancy term is over.

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Will my insurance cover all of my visit?
Most likely your insurance will not cover 100% of your visit. Insurance companies will do what they can to hold as much of your money as possible. That is how they survive. We will help you to get as much benefit from your carrier as possible. As a courtesy, we will also file your claim for you. The front desk will ask you for a copy of your insurance card so please bring this with you to the office.

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What can I do to whiten my teeth?
That question can have many answers. So to keep it simple, natural teeth with no restorations can often be whitened very easily. At Schinto Dental, we stock the finest and most advanced whitening agents. We can whiten your teeth in the office in about an hour and a half or at home for you to do at your pace and convenience. In office whitening is done using Discus Dental’s ZOOM! System while our take home systems are Nite White and Day White, also by Discus Dental. We have used the Discus line of whitening agents for over ten years and have had fantastic results. Every mouth is different and so are everyone’s expectations. Talk to one our team members to find out which method is best for you.

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I had braces and now my front teeth are getting crooked. I don’t want braces again so can we fix this?
Throughout our lifetime it is common for us to experience something called “mesial drift.” It seems that women are more affected than men but we do all experience it. If your grandmother has her natural lower teeth more than likely they will be a bit jumbled, so that one tooth could be completely pushed out of align and the two teeth on either side are touching each other as though the middle tooth never existed. This is because our teeth are in a constant motion forward towards the midline, or “mesially,” and the front teeth with their small roots can’t stand up to the pressure, and collapse like a house of cards. Then what happens is these crooked lower teeth cause the uppers to shift to fit the lowers.

We have a few ways to address this problem in our office depending on the severity of the crowding. Some people, with mild to moderate crowding can have an orthodontic procedure done called INVISALIGN which are clear retainer looking devices called aligners that are worn throughout the day. These aligners are changed every two weeks which slowly move your teeth into alignment. Treatment time is usually 5 – 12 months and no one will know you are wearing them!

We also offer porcelain veneers to “straighten” teeth which give the illusion that your teeth are in perfect alignment. Limitations are tooth modification to your natural teeth for veneers to be placed but the treatment time can be as little as 2 – 3 weeks!

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I have some missing teeth and I don’t want a denture that goes in and out. What can I do to fill the spaces?
Implants! Implants are the greatest way to get back teeth that were lost to sickness or neglect. An implant is a titanium post that is inserted surgically into the jaw bone. It is then allowed to fuse to the bone and act as a new “root” for you to have a tooth placed on. The final result is a tooth, or group of teeth, that act and feel like your natural teeth.

We can also use a few implants to secure a complete denture allowing the patient much more force and function than if the denture was resting on gum and bone alone.

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I am interested in changing the shape of my teeth. What options are available?
Several different options are available to change the shape of teeth, make teeth look longer, close spaces between teeth or repair chipped or cracked teeth. Among the options are bonding, crowns, veneers, and recontouring.

Dental bonding is a procedure in which a tooth- colored resin material is applied to the tooth surface and hardened with a special light, which ultimately Bonds the material to the tooth
Dental crowns are tooth-shaped “caps” that are placed over teeth. The crowns, when cemented into place, fully encase the entire visible portion of a tooth that lies at and above the gum line.

Porcelain veneers are wafer-thin, custom-made shells of tooth-colored materials that are designed to cover the front surface of teeth. These shells are bonded to the front of the teeth
Recontouring or reshaping of the teeth is a procedure in which small amounts of tooth enamel are removed to change a tooth’s length, shape or surface.

Each of these options differ with regard to cost, durability, chair time necessary to complete the procedure, stain resistant qualities and best cosmetic approach to resolving a specific problem.

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What do I do to stop grinding my teeth?
Night-time teeth grinding can have a negative impact on your oral health as well as your overall health. Teeth grinders often experience a sore jaw and dull headaches. Sever grinding can also cause teeth to become loose or fractured. Although your dentist can fit you with a mouth guard to protect your teeth while you sleep, grinding is often caused by stress. Reducing your stress level with physical therapy or relaxation techniques will often stop the cause of grinding

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What is the best way for me to ask the Schinto Dental staff questions?
We encourage our patients to have open, direct communications with the Schinto Dental team. Therefore, we are available daily to answer your questions either via email, telephone or in person. Depending on the office traffic and the complexity of your questions, the Schinto Dental staff strives to respond immediately to any questions you may have.

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