Frequently Asked Dental Questions in New York, NY
Dentistry is not what it used to be. Technology and techniques have greatly improved over the years. Procedures that once took several hours may take just half the time now and better tools have taken away much of the discomfort of dentistry, leaving you with a quick, comfortable, and safe treatment.
We believe that knowledge is power: Below are some of the more common questions we hear in our office. Go ahead and take a look – you may be surprised by some of the answers!
Administrative FAQs (see below for health questions):
How much does a dental visit cost?
This depends on the type of care provided, which varies by treatment and by the patient. We will discuss costs with you prior to starting any work.
Do you offer payment plans or other financing options?
We offer multiple options for paying for your dental care, including credit cards, cash, and dental financing plans.
What dental insurance do you accept?
To find out if we accept your insurance, give us a quick call at New York Office Phone Number 212-905-0081. Our receptionist can help you understand your benefits.
What should I do if I have a dental emergency?
If you are a patient of record, please call us for instructions on how to contact the doctor. If you are a new patient, please call us during business hours – we will do everything we can to see you the same day, if possible. If your situation is life-threatening, you should get medical help immediately.
Dental Health FAQs:
Are dental x-rays safe?
Dental x-rays have one of the lowest radiation exposure rates of all medical imaging. In addition to that, we always do our best to minimize exposure, only performing x-rays when absolutely necessary and always employing protective measures to minimize exposure.
What is a dental crown?
Dental crowns are fabricated with precision in a lab to mimic the look and function of real teeth. They are needed when not enough natural tooth remains to fulfill chewing and aesthetic functions. The most common conditions requiring dental crowns are root canal treatment and cracked, broken, or heavily decayed teeth.
How do dental implants work?
Dental implants are used to replace missing adult teeth. They function just like real teeth, allowing patients to eat and smile just like they would with a natural tooth. The implant is screwed into the jawbone, allowed to “osseointegrate” with the bone, and then a crown is placed on top. If properly maintained, dental implants can last a lifetime!
Is fluoride safe?
Yes, fluoride is safe. Scrutinized for over 70 years by scientists, fluoride has consistently been shown to prevent tooth decay without adverse health effects. Learn more about fluoride on the ADA’s website.
Why is oral hygiene important?
Oral hygiene is the most important step in protecting your teeth for life, and it may even help to reduce the risk of disease around the body. Poor dental health is linked to many different conditions including diabetes and heart disease. Brushing twice a day and flossing once is all you need to stay on top of oral hygiene at home.
Do I still need to floss?
Yes, flossing is the ONLY way to remove bacteria and food particles from in between teeth, which is a very common area for decay to set in.
How often should I visit the dentist?
You should be seen every six months for a regular checkup and cleaning. In some cases, as with periodontal disease, we may recommend that you visit us every three months.
What causes sensitive teeth?
There are many different causes of sensitive teeth – some are benign, and some require attention, such as tooth decay, exposed roots, infection, and gum disease. The only way to know for sure is through an oral exam in our office.
What if I have a broken tooth?
If you have broken or cracked a tooth, call us immediately to set up an appointment as quickly as possible. The sooner we see you, the more likely we will be able to save the tooth.
Are teeth alive?
Yes! While the crown of the tooth is made up of hard tissue, the inside of the tooth (the “roots”) have nerves in them that are alive.
I have a broken filling – what should I do?
Call us as soon as you suspect that you have broken a filling to set up an appointment. The sooner we can get to it, the better chance we have of saving the tooth.
How long do teeth veneers last?
While not permanent, dental veneers do last quite a long time. When properly cared for, they can last anywhere from 10-20 years.
What causes tooth decay and cavities?
Poor oral hygiene, not seeing the dentist regularly, sugary and acidic foods and beverages are responsible for most cavities.
What are teeth sealants?
Usually applied to the molars and other frequently decayed areas, tooth sealants protect the enamel of your teeth from damage and thus reduce the risk of cavities – a great investment for most families.
I am afraid to go to the dentist.
You are not alone! We see patients every day that have anxiety about dental work. Luckily, there are many ways that we can help alleviate dental anxiety. Often it is enough to simply talk about the specific fears you have. This allows us to explain the procedures and treatments to you thoroughly and prepare with any needed accommodations. Earphones are another great tool for managing dental anxiety. And, if needed, we can discuss anesthesia options.
What do I do if I knock a tooth out?
If you or your child has knocked out a tooth (avulsion), gently rinse (but don’t rub or touch) the tooth with milk or water. Be careful not to touch the root of the tooth. Keep the tooth moist in a glass of milk, water, spit, or the patient’s mouth (if possible) until you can be seen. Call us immediately for instructions and an appointment – the sooner we see you, the more likely we can re-implant the permanent tooth.
What should I do if I have bad breath?
Bad breath (halitosis) can be an unpleasant and embarrassing condition. Many of us may not realize that we have bad breath, but everyone has it from time to time, especially in the morning. There are various reasons one may have bad breath, but in healthy people, the major reason is due to microbial deposits on the tongue, especially the back of the tongue. Some studies have shown that simply brushing the tongue reduced bad breath by as much as 70 percent.
What causes my bad breath?
There could be a variety of reasons you have bad breath:
- Morning time. Saliva flow almost stops during sleep and its reduced cleansing action allows bacteria to grow, causing bad breath.
- Eating certain foods such as garlic, onions, etc. Foods containing odor-causing compounds enter the bloodstream; they are transferred to the lungs, where they are exhaled.
- Poor oral hygiene habits. Food particles remaining in the mouth promote bacterial growth.
- Periodontal (gum) disease. Colonies of bacteria and food debris residing under inflamed gums.
- Dental cavities and improperly fitted dental appliances.
- Dry mouth (Xerostomia). May be caused by certain medications, salivary gland problems, or continuous mouth breathing.
- Tobacco products, dry the mouth, causing bad breath.
- Dieting. Certain chemicals called ketones are released in the breath as the body burns fat.
- Dehydration, hunger, and missed meals. Drinking water and chewing food increases saliva flow and washes bacteria away.
- Certain medical conditions and illnesses, such as diabetes, liver and kidney problems, chronic sinus infections, bronchitis, and pneumonia.
Keeping a record of what you eat may help identify the cause of bad breath. Also, review your current medications, recent surgeries, or illnesses with your dentist.
What can I do to prevent my bad breath?
Practice good oral hygiene. Brush at least twice a day with an ADA approved fluoride toothpaste and toothbrush. Floss daily to remove food debris and plaque from in between the teeth and under the gum line. Brush or use a tongue scraper to clean the tongue and reach the back areas. Additionally:
- Replace your toothbrush every 2 to 3 months.
- If you wear dentures or removable bridges, clean them thoroughly and place them back in your mouth in the morning.
- See your dentist regularly. Get a check-up and cleaning at least twice a year. If you have or have had periodontal disease, your dentist will recommend more frequent visits.
- Stop smoking/chewing tobacco. Ask your dentist what they recommend to help break the habit.>
- Drink water frequently. Water will help keep your mouth moist and wash away bacteria.
- Use mouthwash/rinses. Some over-the-counter products only provide a temporary solution to mask unpleasant mouth odor. Ask your dentist about antiseptic rinses that not only alleviate bad breath but also kill the germs that cause the problem.
In most cases, your dentist can treat the cause of bad breath. If it is determined that your mouth is healthy, but bad breath is persistent, your dentist may refer you to your physician to determine the cause of the odor and an appropriate treatment plan.
How often should I see my dentist?
You should have your teeth checked and cleaned at least twice a year, though your dentist or dental hygienist may recommend more frequent visits. Regular dental exams and cleaning visits to Dr. Katayev at Murray Hill Dental are essential in preventing dental problems and maintaining the health of your teeth and gums. At these visits, your teeth are cleaned and checked for cavities. Additionally, there are many other things that are checked and monitored to help detect, prevent, and maintain your dental health.
- History review: Knowing the status of any current medical conditions, new medications, and illnesses, gives us insight into your overall health and also your dental health.
- Examination of diagnostic x-rays (radiographs): Essential for detection of decay, tumors, cysts, and bone loss. X-rays also help determine tooth and root positions.
- Oral cancer screening: Check the face, neck, lips, tongue, throat, tissues, and gums for any
sings of oral cancer.
- Gum disease evaluation: Check the gums and bone around the teeth for any signs of periodontal disease.
- Examination of tooth decay: All tooth surfaces will be checked for decay with special dental instruments.
- Examination of existing restorations: Check current fillings, crowns, etc.
- Removal of calculus (tartar): Calculus is a hardened plaque that has been left on the tooth for some time and is now firmly attached to the tooth surface. Calculus forms above and below the gum line, and can only be removed with special dental instruments.
- Removal of plaque: Plaque is a sticky, almost invisible film that forms on the teeth. It is a growing colony of living bacteria, food debris, and saliva. The bacteria produce toxins (poisons) that inflame the gums. This inflammation is the start of periodontal disease!
- Teeth polishing: Removes stain and plaque that is not otherwise removed during tooth brushing and scaling.
- Oral hygiene recommendations: Review and recommend oral hygiene aids as needed
(electric dental toothbrushes, special cleaning aids, fluorides, rinses, etc.).
- Review dietary habits: Your eating habits play a very important role in your dental health.
As you can see, a good dental exam and cleaning involve quite a lot more than just checking for cavities and polishing your teeth. We are committed to providing you with the best possible care, and to do so will require regular check-ups and cleanings.