Q: I am nervous about visiting the dentist, is there anything you can do to help me relax?
A: Many people are uncomfortable with visiting the dentist. Your comfort is our highest priority and our office is designed so that you can enjoy a relaxing dental visit. We do offer nitrous oxide, also known as “laughing gas”, to help you relax during dental treatment.

Q: I brush every day, but my breath is not fresh. Is there anything else I can do?
A: Millions of people struggle with halitosis, or bad breath, despite daily teeth brushing. Here is a checklist of procedures that can help eliminate the problem: twice daily brushing, daily flossing, daily tongue cleaning, regular professional cleanings and careful cleaning of any dentures or removable dental appliances.

Q: What is a crown and why do I need one?
A: If your doctor has recommended a crown, it is either to correct a broken tooth, strengthen a weakened tooth, or to repair a tooth that has deteriorated due to cavities (decay). The decay in your tooth eats away at healthy tooth structure much like rust eats away at metal. If not removed, decay will deteriorate the tooth to the point where extraction is the only viable treatment option.

Sometimes, decay is removed leaving healthy tooth structure, but not much of it. A crown can then be placed, restoring the look and function of your tooth while allowing you to keep your natural, underlying tooth structure. Most crowns are precision-milled porcelain or full metal (gold or silver) and are individually customized for each application in each patient, giving you a natural, long lasting smile.

Q: I know I need x-rays, but I’d prefer to not be exposed to unnecessary radiation. Do you offer digital x-rays?
A: Yes, we do offer digital x-rays. Digital x-rays use less radiation and are safer for you than traditional film x-rays. You will find that in our dental practice we researched the latest technology to find the solutions that promote your overall health, safety and comfort.

Q: How does fluoride help my teeth?
A: Research shows that fluoride reduces cavities in both children and adults by strengthening tooth enamel. It also helps repair the early stages of tooth decay even before the decay becomes visible. Fluoride is safe when used correctly. When your dentist applies fluoride to your teeth, usually in the form of a fluoride varnish, gel, or foam, that fluoride is more concentrated than the fluoride contained in toothpaste or mouthwash.

Q: How do sealants protect teeth?
A: A sealant is a plastic material that is usually applied to the chewing surfaces of the back teeth – premolars and molars. This plastic resin bonds into the depressions and grooves (pits and fissures) of the chewing surfaces of back teeth. The sealant acts as a barrier, protecting enamel from plaque and acids and guarding again disease-causing bacteria. Thorough brushing and flossing help remove food particles and plaque from smooth surfaces of teeth. However, toothbrush bristles cannot reach all the way into the depressions and grooves to efficiently extract food and plaque. Sealants protect these vulnerable areas by “sealing out” plaque and food.

Q: I want my smile to look good. What are some options to help the appearance of my smile?
A: Most people want to have a nice smile since it is one of the first things others notice about you. You may be interested in a few minor adjustments or may have concerns that need more attention. Some smiles can be enhanced with simple whitening or bonding treatments. Other smiles need porcelain veneers, crowns or bridges; gum contouring; periodontal therapy or a combination of all these techniques. Dr. Dotson or Dr. Hartzell will suggest a treatment plan for you based on your goals, areas of concern and the overall condition of your oral health.

Q: I want my front teeth to look better, but I do not want to wear braces. What would you recommend?
A: Hill Avenue Dental has a number of ways to improve the look of your front teeth without the use of braces. For slightly crooked or unevenly worn teeth, a bit of reshaping and the addition of porcelain veneers may be sufficient to give them a bright, uniform look. We would be happy to talk with you further about the option that best suits your individual situation. Attention to detail, respect for individual and true concern for each patient are the hallmarks of our personal care and our quality product. We are committed to helping you fulfill your ultimate self-image.

Q: What are my options to replace a missing tooth?
A: Missing teeth may be replaced by implants, a fixed bridge, or a removable appliance. Dr. Dotson or Dr. Hartzell can help you decide which option is best for you.

Q: What can I expect from my first appointment?
A: During your first appointment, your overall oral health will be assessed with a comprehensive oral evaluation. Digital photos and x-rays will be taken of your teeth to identify areas of decay, cracked teeth and malfunctioning restorations. Our goal is to preserve as much of your teeth as possible by catching decay in its earliest stage. We’ll also assess your gums and recommend the appropriate hygiene treatment for you.

Q: Do you accept new patient referrals?
A: Yes. We offer $25 off dental services for new patient referrals. Both the new patient and the referring patient will receive this discount.

Q: My teeth keep chipping and cracking. What causes this? What can I do about it?
A: Many people who notice chipped or cracked teeth but don’t remember when the injury occurred, damaged their teeth while they were sleeping. Grinding or clenching your teeth during the night will cause your teeth to chip, crack, and even break. To keep you from seriously damaging your teeth, we recommend a dental appliance called a nightguard. Hill Avenue Dental takes great care in making sure you have a proper fit to prevent pain in your temporomanbular joint. Do you suffer from headaches? You may find that a side benefit of your nightguard is headache prevention. Many headaches start during the night caused by the pressure generated as you grind and clench your teeth. Ask us about having a night guard custom created for you.

Q: My gums bleed. Why is this?
A: Gums affected by gingivitis become red and inflamed, often bleeding during brushing or flossing. Timely treatment can reverse this condition. However, if these conditions are ignored, your gum disease can worsen, becoming a condition called periodontitis. Periodontitis is much more difficult to treat.

Q: What is periodontal disease?
A: Periodontitis affects your gums, bone and teeth in a manner that cannot be reversed. To prevent tooth loss, you may require more extensive, specialized treatment from your general dentist or periodontist. If left untreated, periodontitis results in tooth loss. It may also contribute to certain systemic diseases.

Q: Sometimes when I chew I get a sharp pain. What can I do to correct this?
A: Most dental pain brought on by chewing is caused by a fracture, or crack, in the tooth. The pain can be corrected by placing an inlay/onlay or a porcelain crown. You want to correct the pain as soon as possible to prevent further damage to the tooth.