Frequently Asked Questions

1How Do Porcelain Veneers Work?
A porcelain veneer is a thin, tooth-shaped shell of porcelain that covers the front of each tooth. They bond directly to the front of the tooth, similar to the way artificial fingernails work. Each porcelain veneer is carefully crafted to fit your smile. Getting veneers is a durable and long-lasting treatment for many minor cosmetic issues.
2How Are Veneers Applied?
Again, veneers are thin pieces of porcelain that are permanently bonded to teeth to restore strength and resilience, without sacrificing a natural look. This is the process: 1. The teeth that will be under the veneer are cleaned. 2. An impression is taken and sent to a lab that creates the veneer. 3. The veneer is applied by your dentist with a permanent bonding resin. 4. Once the veneer has been set, it is shaped and polished with tools that help it look like a natural smile.
3Why Is It Important to Whiten Your Teeth?
A whiter, brighter smile can increase your confidence. If you’re not smiling because you’re uncomfortable with dull-colored or stained teeth, we can help. During your teeth-whitening consultation, we will discuss: - Lifestyle factors that may be affecting the color of your teeth, like drinking coffee or wine, eating darkly pigmented foods, or smoking - Whether decay or other dental health problems may be contributing to the color of your teeth - The tooth-whitening options available to you - Your desire to maintain a natural, white, and healthy smile for a lifetime
4Is Invisalign a Suitable Alternative to Braces?
Invisalign can be as effective as braces in less time. Invisalign removes so many inconveniences and hassles that were typically associated with traditional braces. Plus, Invisalign trays are removable, which is great for easy cleaning. With Invisalign, patients will use one tray for a couple of weeks before moving on to the next one, gradually straightening teeth to create the perfect smile.
5What Is Cosmetic Bonding?
Cosmetic bonding is a simple, non-invasive procedure. We apply tooth-colored composite resin to your teeth and sculpt it to cover or replace the problem area. The material bonds to the surface of your teeth like glue, and it can easily be shaded to perfectly match your teeth. It is often "cured" or hardened with intense ultraviolet light.
6What Is the Benefit of Tooth-Colored Fillings?
Tooth-colored fillings are made from a high-strength composite resin. The great thing about resin is that Hammond & Proctor can quickly and easily match the color to the color of your tooth, making these fillings practically unnoticeable. This resin provides a strong bond to the tooth, supporting the tooth's structure and preventing breaks and nerve pain from temperature changes. Gold and silver fillings are more noticeable and tend to fall out more.
7How Are Tooth Implants Placed?
A dental tooth implant is a metal post that is surgically implanted into the jawbone below the gums. This post then fuses to the jawbone and provides sturdy support for permanent teeth replacements. This is how they are placed: 1.The damaged tooth/teeth are removed 2. The jaw is prepped for the implant (this may include bone grafting) 3. After the jawbone heals, a dental surgeon places the metal implant into the jawbone 4. It is left to heal for several months 5. After the soft tissue heals, your dentist will take molds to create the final tooth or teeth
8Why Do You Need to Replace Missing Teeth?
Missing teeth can lead to a variety of problems, including: - Teeth shifting to fill the space - Bite problems that can lead to jaw joint problems - Difficulty chewing comfortably - Feeling self-conscious about the appearance of missing teeth A fixed dental bridge is a safe, durable, and affordable solution to missing teeth. A bridge is a false tooth that is anchored to the neighboring teeth, holding it in place. The bridge spans the entire space of the missing teeth.
9Does Hammond & Proctor Offer Partial Dentures?
Yes, we do partial dentures, full-arch dentures, and even implant-supported dentures. Partial dentures are made to replace some of your teeth using other functional teeth for support. A full-arch denture is a removable tooth replacement option for those who need all of their teeth replaced. They can be molded and crafted to create your desired smile. Implants can anchor a denture to give extra support and comfort while eating and talking. Once implants are in place, small housings are inserted into the denture to then “snap” onto the top of an implant.
10What Is the Difference Between Nitrous Oxide Sedation and Oral Sedation?
Great for patients who are just mildly anxious at the dentist, nitrous oxide is used by placing a small mask over the patient's nose. The patient breathes through their nose to feel the effects of the nitrous oxide. Once the gas is turned off, the effects wear off almost immediately. Oral sedation is a stronger option than nitrous oxide. Patients enter an almost sleep-like state but can still respond to commands and questions. Oral sedation wears off slower, so it comes with instructions on how to recover well.
11Are Gold and Silver Amalgam Fillings Ineffective?
Metal fillings have been around for a significantly long time, and to this day, they do an adequate job in filling teeth. Today's white fillings are, by far, a patient's first choice because of their natural cosmetic benefits. Metal fillings still have their own benefits. Metal fillings (also known as amalgam fillings) are very strong and do not wear out as quickly as composite (white) fillings. This is great for patients who have large areas that need to be filled. Metal fillings generally cost less than natural-looking white composite fillings, so patients who need fillings in any out-of-sight teeth often consider a metal filling.
12How Many Visits Does It Take to Get Crowns Placed?
For decades, crowns, onlays, veneers, and other single-tooth restoration options required several visits to the dentist to complete. Not anymore! At Hammond & Proctor Family Dentistry, we're proud to offer CEREC® single-visit restorations to our patients. This means that you can have a crown created and placed in only a single visit, which means less waiting, less worry, and less time in the dentist's office.
13What Is Dental Bonding?
Bonding is one of the least expensive cosmetic procedures. The materials used in bonding can be formed and polished to match neighboring teeth. It is most commonly used to improve the appearance of a chipped or discolored tooth or to close small gaps between teeth.
14What Causes Gum Disease?
Poor oral hygiene can allow plaque to build up on your teeth, which can then cause gum disease. Technically, plaque is always building on your teeth, but if it isn't cleaned well, the plaque will cause gum inflammation and infection. When this occurs, your gums will form spaces known as pockets. Gum disease could then potentially lead to bone and tooth loss if left untreated. Regular brushing and flossing can prevent this, but if the pockets become too deep, book a consultation for scaling and root planing.
15What Can New Patients Expect When Visiting Hammond & Proctor?
Both new and existing patients can expect a complete oral examination to determine their overall dental and health condition. For new patients, a more in-depth, comprehensive exam will take place and includes: x-rays, assessment of any gum and bone disease, systemic disorders, as well as signs of oral cancer.
16How Do You Prevent Cavities?
The best way to remain cavity-free is through regular oral care each day at home and with sealants. A sealant is a plastic coating used to protect the molars from plaque and acid that can wear away enamel.
17What Is Tooth Scaling?
Tooth scaling is the use of an ultrasonic device that can remove tartar, plaque, and biofilm deposits from the teeth and the area just below the gum line. This process is typically followed by root planing, which is when a dentist smooths the surfaces of the teeth and roots to help prep the area for a natural reattachment.
18How Does Periodontitis Occur?
Periodontitis is a result of plaque attacking the soft tissues in your mouth. The gums then pull away from the teeth and open up pockets where the plaque can continue its attack below the gum line.
19What Does Fluoride Do?
Cavities are created when plaque bacteria and sugars come together and sit in the mouth producing an acid-like byproduct that erodes the enamel on our teeth. Fluoride, on the other hand, is a mineral that bonds to the enamel of our teeth and makes it more difficult for the enamel to become eroded and expose the tooth to a cavity.
20Why Must Wisdom Teeth Be Removed?
If you don't remove your wisdom teeth, they can cause several oral issues later in life. The following are just a few of the problems wisdom teeth can cause if not removed early: - If wisdom teeth impact, they can damage neighboring molars by pushing on them. - Impacted wisdom teeth often decay. - Infections can occur that, if left untreated, will affect the bloodstream. - Cysts and tumors can occur below the wisdom tooth, causing pain and even damage to the jawbone.
21What Emergency Dental Services Does Hammond & Proctor Provide?
Let’s put it this way: If you’re in pain, it’s an emergency. The quicker you can get in and get it treated, the odds of saving injured or damaged teeth increase significantly. Here are some dental emergencies we can help with: - Chipped tooth, cracked tooth, or broken teeth - Teeth knocked out - Partially dislodged tooth - Lost filling or a crown came off - Severe pain without trauma - Injuries to the lips, tongue, and gums If you have a dental emergency, call 530-677-0723 (Cameron Park) or 916-805-5077 (Folsom)