5 Questions for Your Dentist

For many people, a visit to the dentist can be particularly nerve wracking and confusing. There are many aspects of a typical dental visit that can provoke a myriad of questions for the dentist. Here at Oakton Dental Center, we’re breaking down a list of some of the questions that dentists most commonly hear from their patients.

  1. “Are Dental X-rays Safe?”

It is an extremely common misconception that having any amount of x-rays taken places you at high risk of developing cancer. The reality is that using proper safety precautions, dental x-rays are incredibly safe. In fact, you receive no more radiation having a full set of x-rays taken than you would going on a flight from the east coast to the west coast. Dental x-rays are a crucial part of proper dental care, and when properly executed, are perfectly safe.

2. “Do I Really Need To Floss?”

To put it simply.. yes! While many people do not think it is necessary to floss on a daily basis at home, this could not be further from the truth. Even with thorough and regular brushing, it is all too easy for small food particles and bacteria to accumulate in hard to reach spots like the back of the mouth and between the teeth. Flossing ensures that all of the food and bacteria missed by brushing is removed from the surfaces of the teeth. When an individual fails to follow through with regular flossing, they face the possibility of developing decay in-between the teeth and in the back teeth, as well.

3. “I Don’t Feel Pain..Why Do I Need A Filling?”

If you have been told that you need a filling but are confused because you do not feel any pain in that tooth, you may be left wondering if you really do need a filling. The truth is that the fact that you don’t feel pain in that tooth is actually a good sign; feeling sensitivity or pain in a sign that the nerve has been damaged or exposed, and when this occurs, a root canal is usually needed. It is not uncommon for a cavity to be visible both on an x-ray and in the mouth, yet cause no pain or sensitivity at all for the individual. If you are confused about your need for a filling, ask your dentist to show you the decay that they have examined, whether it be on the x-rays or in the mouth.

4. “How Often Do I Need To Return To The Dentist?”

The amount of times per year that you should return to the dentist really varies from patient to patient, as it is dependent upon the patient’s dental health. Individuals who only visit the dentist for regular check-ups and cleanings usually only need to return once or twice a year, usually spread six months apart. Those who struggle to manage gum disease will usually be asked to return every three or four months. Individuals who need a considerable amount of work done will be asked to return as regularly as possible until all work has been completed. Ask your dentist how often they recommend for you to return.

5. “How Long Will This Restoration Work Last?”

The predicted lifespan of any dental restoration work is dependent upon a few different variables; the type of restoration, the state of the tooth when the restoration is done, and the patient’s ability to practice correct home care. It is usually next to impossible for a dentist to give an exact estimation for how long a certain restoration will last, but they will be able to tell you how long they estimate it to last while also keeping your unique dental health and situation in mind. If you have recently had dental work done, ask your dentist what they predict based upon your personal situation.

Going forward with the information you learned here, you will hopefully have a better understanding of what you can expect at your next dental appointment. For more information about your treatment or to learn more about our Oakton, VA dental office, give us a call at (703) 938-3405.