FAQ’s

Below is a list of some of the questions our patients most frequently ask. If you have a question that isn’t answered below, feel free to give us a call, and our team at Mount Vista Family Dental will be happy to assist you.

Taking Care of Your Teeth and Gums
How often should I visit the dentist?
How often should I brush and floss my teeth?
What is the proper way to brush my teeth?
What is the proper way to floss?
What is plaque?

Periodontal (Gum) Disease
What is periodontal (gum) disease?
What are the signs of periodontal disease?
How can I prevent periodontal disease?

Teeth Whitening
Why do our teeth turn yellow?
What are the different types of teeth whitening options?
How long does teeth whitening last?

All About Dental Implants
Are implants the right decision for me?
Are implants or bridges a better choice?
Can implants be used to restore multiple teeth?
Are implants expensive?
How long do implants last?
What if I do not have enough bone in my jaw for implants?
When an implant is surgically placed, how long until I get my new tooth?
How can I get a full set of teeth in one day?

Porcelain Veneers
What are veneers?
How much of my tooth is removed with veneers?
Will my veneers change color?
How long does it take to get a set of veneers, or even just one?
How many veneers do I need?
How long do veneers last?

Other Common Questions
What can I do about bad breath?
What is cosmetic dentistry?
What is the easiest way to improve my smile?
What are composite fillings?
Should I get my mercury fillings removed?
What are the options for mercury replacement?
Is the mercury dangerous to remove?

Answers to FAQ

How often should I visit the dentist?
You should visit the dentist at least twice a year. A dental exam can reveal early signs of decay and disease that you may not see or feel. Catching these conditions early can help control them before they get worse and harder to treat. Additionally, getting a cleaning by a trained professional will remove plaque in areas you may have missed or cannot reach.

How often should I brush and floss my teeth?
You should brush at least twice a day, once in the morning and once before going to bed. You should floss once a day as well.

What is the proper way to brush my teeth?
The following guidelines are important to brushing correctly:

  • Make sure to use a soft bristled brush. Hard bristled brushes can wear down the enamel of your teeth
  • Place your brush at a 45 degree angle to your gum line. Bristles should contact both the tooth surface and the gum line
  • Use short back and forth strokes or tiny circular movements to brush your teeth. Each movement should be no bigger than the size of each tooth
  • Make sure to use gentle strokes while brushing. Gentle strokes are effective in removing plaque, while too much pressure can wear down the enamel of your teeth
  • Brush all surfaces of each tooth, including the outer, inner and chewing surfaces of the teeth.
  • Don’t cut your brushing short! Make sure to brush for at least 2 minutes

What is the proper way to floss?
The following guidelines are important to flossing correctly:

  • Take 18 inches of floss and wind it around the middle finger of each hand. You can use these fingers to take up floss as it becomes dirty. Using your thumb and forefinger, pinch the floss leaving 1-2 inches in between for cleaning
  • Gently move the floss up and down in the spaces around your teeth. Never snap the floss down onto your gums, as it can cause damage
  • As you move the floss down into the space between two teeth, slide it up and down against the surface of one tooth. Gently clean at the gum line as well. Repeat this for the other tooth
  • Repeat this process for all of your teeth

What is plaque?
Plaque is a sticky, clear film which forms every day on teeth, from food debris and bacteria. If plaque is not removed, it can lead to gum disease and cavities. Regular dental check ups, along with brushing and flossing every day, can help prevent plaque buildup on teeth. In addition, avoiding sugary snacks and eating a balanced diet can help control plaque.

What is periodontal (gum) disease?
Periodontal (gum) disease is an infection of the gums and bone that hold your teeth in place. Typically, periodontal disease occurs when plaque builds up on the teeth and hardens, often due to poor brushing habits. The gums can become swollen and red in the early stage of the disease, called gingivitis. As the disease advances, periodontal disease can lead to sore and bleeding gums, pain while chewing, and tooth loss.

What are the signs of periodontal disease?
The following are signs of periodontal (gum) disease, and you should contact your dentist if you experience any of these:

  • Gums that bleed while brushing
  • Red, swollen, or tender gums
  • Gums that have pulled away from the teeth
  • Bad breath that doesn’t go away
  • Pus between your teeth and gums
  • Loose teeth
  • A change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite
  • A change in the fit of partial dentures

How can I prevent periodontal disease?
Periodontal disease can be prevented by practicing good oral hygiene. This includes brushing, flossing, and visiting your dentist regularly. Also make sure to eat a healthy diet to get the required vitamins and minerals necessary for your teeth.

Why do our teeth turn yellow?
While our teeth start out pearly white, they can discolor through the years as our enamel wears down. The wearing down of enamel allows dentin, a yellow color substance that makes the core of our teeth, to show through. This is what gives our teeth a yellowish tint.

What are the different types of teeth whitening options?
Below are the three most popular teeth whitening options available today:

  • In-Office Teeth Whitening
    In-office teeth whitening works by producing a significant color change in your teeth in short amount of time, usually within an hour. The procedure is done at the dentist’s office, by applying a high-concentration peroxide gel on the teeth after they have been protected with a special shield.
  • Professionally Dispensed Take-Home Whitening Kits
    These whitening kits are purchased from your dentist for use at home. The strength of the gel used in these kits is lower than that used for in-office bleaching, and thus the gel can be applied for longer periods of time. Usually the trays are worn a couple hours a day or overnight for a few days or weeks, depending on the product.
  • Over the Counter Whitening
    Over the counter teeth whitening kits are store-bought and use a lower concentration gel than both in-office bleaching and take-home kits purchased from your dentist. While they are cheaper, they typically are less effective than methods that can be performed by your dentist because of the low concentration gel. Additionally, over the counter trays are not custom fit for your teeth, which can result in irritation to your gums while wearing the trays.

How long does teeth whitening last?
Teeth whitening usually lasts from one to three years, before darkening of the teeth is noticed. Additionally, once your teeth have been initially whitened, typically only “touch ups” are required to maintain the whiteness.

Are implants the right decision for me?
Dental Implants can permanently replace one or multiple missing teeth. Using a biocompatible titanium dental device that resembles a screw, we are able to implant this into your jawbone and then place a dental crown on top, giving you a strong, permanent tooth. Patients love this option because:

  • Implants are strong and permanently fill the space of their missing tooth.
  • Dental Implants will never decay or need to have a cavity filled.
  • This option allows you to forget about the problem because they look and feel just like the natural tooth they are replacing.

Are implants or bridges a better choice?
In the past, we would use a dental bridge to replace a missing tooth. The difficult part of dental bridges is that they force us to permanently alter the two healthy surrounding teeth to create a bridge. Dental Implants only impact the space of the missing tooth. We are able to leave the neighboring teeth undisturbed and intact.

Can implants be used to restore multiple teeth?
Dental Implants are an amazing advancement in dentistry. We are able to restore one or multiple teeth with dental implants. In fact, we can have a patient come in missing an entire arch of teeth and leave with a full set of teeth that are permanently set into their jawbone, allowing them to forget that they were ever missing their teeth. Unlike dentures, our patients will not have to worry about what foods they eat with dental implants. Don’t suffer with loose dentures, ask Dr. Hiller if you are a candidate for this procedure.

Are implants expensive?
Dr. Hiller can discuss the expenses related to dental implants. You may be surprised to find that it is usually less expensive than any alternative tooth replacement process in our office.

How long do implants last?
A dental implant should last you many years, if not a lifetime. The success rate of dental implants is very high and under a doctors care, they should never need to be replaced.

What if I do not have enough bone in my jaw for implants?
Dr. Hiller is your best option for discussing your options with. He can evaluate your bone, and discuss what he is able to do. There are surgical options including very minor bone grafting that can help make your dental implant procedure more successful. It is possible to have an implant placed in any situation with his expert care and planning.

When an implant is surgically placed, how long until I get my new tooth?
We place a temporary tooth onto the implant the same day you receive the implant. The permanent crown will be placed after Dr. Hiller feels that the area is healed. The time for healing can vary based on the patient and the location.

How can I get a full set of teeth in one day?
Receiving a full set of teeth in a day is all about the planning. Dr. Hill will use CAT scan planning for immediate teeth replacements and surgical precision. A majority of the time involved in this procedure happens before our patients come in on surgery day. Dr. Hiller will have a set plan allowing him to deliver fast and exceptional care.

What are veneers?
Dental veneers allow our patients to hide a number of dental issues. Using a thin shell of porcelain, veneers are placed to cover the front, edge, and a small portion of the back of your front or anterior teeth. We use veneers for both cosmetic and reconstructive purposes. Some patients choose dental veneers to cover up teeth that are stained or worn down. Veneers can be used to help patients give the appearance of teeth that are straight or to change the shape of a tooth. Veneers are also used to even teeth out in length, or to cover teeth that are chipped.

How much of my tooth is removed with veneers?
In the past, dentists have had to permanently alter a tooth before applying a dental veneer. Today, there are options. Dr. Hiller can go over the various styles available to you and weigh the pros and cons of each type of veneer.

Will my veneers change color?
The upside is, that porcelain do not stain like your natural teeth or other dental materials. The downside is, you will want to keep your natural teeth bright and white.

How long does it take to get a set of veneers, or even just one?
Dr. Hiller will have to answer this question, it is based on the individual situation. The most important aspect of this process is getting the look that you want. Some patients receive their veneers within the week and some are longer.

How many veneers do I need?
The number of dental veneers placed is dependent on the patient and their situation. Some patients only want the front top four teeth to have veneers placed and some want every tooth that is visible when they smile. A full veneer makeover is approximately 20 dental veneers. The average patient receives 4 or 8 dental veneers. Dr. Hiller is available to help answer your questions.

How long do veneers last?
Veneers are a very durable product that can withstand normal daily stresses very well. They are subject to chipping or breaking under extreme pressure and will then require replacing. In a majority of our patients, you can expect your veneers to last a minimum of 2 years.

What can I do about bad breath?
At your next dental cleaning, ask us about how to control bad breath. Together we can help determine why you are experiencing bad breath and what you can do to stop it. Patients frequently find that changing their eating habits, along with daily brushing and flossing significantly reduce bad breath. Other factors may include periodontal disease, also known as gum disease, or problems with dry mouth. Together, our team at Mount Vista Dental, we can solve this mystery.

What is cosmetic dentistry?
Cosmetic dentistry is the process of improving your smile. Together, we can discuss many options, some very simple ones like whitening your teeth or dental veneers, and we can discuss larger options like dental bridges or implants. With cosmetic dentistry, there are several ways to improve your smile.

What is the easiest way to improve my smile?
We offer a couple of ways to easily improve your smile. Ask Dr. Hiller about whitening your teeth or replacing old fillings, either silver or discolored, as a simple way to brighten your smile. The least invasive route is whitening your teeth. This can be done in the office or at home. Keep in mind, whitening does not work well for tetracycline stained teeth, and does not whiten tooth colored fillings or porcelain very much.

What are composite fillings?
Composite filling is a tooth colored ceramic that is mixed with resin to create a filling material for repairing cavities, and small tooth repairs. This material has come a long way, we used to not use it on biting surfaces, but now feel comfortable with its strength and durability.

Should I get my mercury fillings removed?
We are happy to discuss silver, mercury fillings with you. This is the traditional material used when repairing damage due to decay because it is a strong material. Over time, tooth colored composite has advanced in its strength. We also prefer composite material because we are able to remove less of the natural tooth to set it in versus the silver filling. That, along with the potential mercury risk, makes this product an out of date product. At Mount Vista Family Dental, we offer replacement options for every mercury filling we encounter.

What are the options for mercury replacement?
The answer is a very definite: It depends! In some situations we may be able to remove the mercury filling and replace it with composite. In some situations, the removed portion of the tooth may be so large that we recommend a dental crown to cover the tooth and to provide it strength.  An additional option is for a dental onlay, this works as a partial crown covering, frequently laying on top of multiple teeth. Ask Dr. Hiller if a dental onlay is the right option for you.

Is the mercury dangerous to remove?
The removal of mercury fillings is not considered a health risk. If this is a concern for you, we are able to take special measures for your protection.