Cleanliness and Safety

Dentistry FAQs – Agawam, MA

Have Questions? We’ve Got Answers

Do all crowns need to have root canals?

No, not all crowns require root canals. A crown is indicated when there is significant structural damage to the existing tooth. It is very important to us at Lifetime Dental to preserve the vitality of your teeth. Because of Dr. Michitti‘s conservative preparation techniques, he is able to repair teeth for crowns without the need for root canals in many instances. Dr. Michitti has worked for many years to hone his skills in these techniques.

Will fillings change color when I whiten my teeth?

In most instances, fillings will not change the color when you whiten your teeth. Occasionally, a superficial stain will be removed from the filling or crown.

Why my dental insurance doesn’t cover something?

Most insurance plans are designed to cover basic services rather than provide you with comprehensive oral health. Additionally, many plans have an annual limit, and if you don’t use all of your insurance dollars for the year, they may not roll over to the next year.

Is there a cure for gum disease (periodontal disease)?

Gum disease is treatable, but a definitive cure is not possible. Once diagnosed with gum disease, it is important that you maintain good oral hygiene at home and come to your dental maintenance visits regularly every 3-4 months.

Do dental x-rays cause cancer? Are dental x-rays safe?

Yes, modern dental x-rays are considered very safe.  Modern dental x-rays are now digital, reducing radiation up to 90%. Radiation is comparable to the amount you would receive from a day at the beach.

What is a crown, and how do I know when I need a crown?

A crown is a restoration that provides structural reinforcement to the tooth. The goal of a crown is typically to prevent a tooth from splitting or breaking. Crowns can also be used to cosmetically recontour teeth or change their color.

Do dentists still use silver mercury fillings?

While some dentists do still use silver mercury fillings, here at Lifetime Dental, we only use composite resin fillings. The composite resin fillings bond to the tooth structure and allow us to be more conservative with the tooth preparation. Additionally, the white composite resin fillings look much nicer and don’t stain the tooth structure gray.

How can I whiten my teeth?

The safest way to whiten your teeth is with a peroxide gel. At Lifetime Dental, we don’t recommend most whitening toothpastes as these typically rely on heavy abrasives, which can damage tooth structure over time. Instead, we offer in-office whitening services as well as custom whitening trays. Our patients have found these results to be vastly superior to the whitening kits that are available for purchase to the general public.

Is it safe to go to the dentist while pregnant?  

Not only is it generally considered safe to go to the dentist while pregnant, it is also often recommended to go more often. Pregnancy can introduce more acid to the oral environment, which may put you at a greater risk for cavities. The hormones from pregnancy can also cause more bleeding to the gums if not maintained properly during pregnancy.

Why do I keep getting cavities even though I brush my teeth?

While toothbrushing and flossing are important components of cavity prevention, brushing alone may not provide adequate protection from cavities. Cavities are a result of acid on the teeth from bacteria. There are important steps to take in addition to brushing that help to re-balance the pH of your mouth. Pay attention to how often you take a sip of an acidic or sugary beverage during the day. Reduce snacking between meals. Ask your hygienist here at Lifetime Dental about more strategies to rebalance your mouth’s pH and how to repair the mineral structure of the teeth. 


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