When are sealants recommended?

Although thorough brushing and flossing remove most food particles and bacteria from easy to reach tooth surfaces, they do not reach the deep grooves on chewing surfaces of teeth. More than 75 percent of dental decay begins in these deep grooves (called pits and fissures). Toothbrush bristles are too large to possibly fit and clean most of these areas. This is where sealants play an important role.

A sealant is a thin plastic coating that covers and protects the chewing surfaces of molars, premolars, and any deep grooves or pits on teeth. Sealant material forms a protective, smooth barrier covering natural depressions and grooves in the teeth, making it much easier to clean and help keep these areas free of decay.

Who may need sealants?

Children and teenagers – As soon as the six-year molars (the first permanent back teeth) appear or any time throughout the cavity prone years of 6-16.

Infants – Baby teeth are occasionally sealed if the teeth have deep grooves and the child is cavity prone.

Adults – Tooth surfaces without decay that have deep grooves or depressions that are difficult to clean.

Sealants are easily applied by your dentist or dental hygienist and the process only takes minutes per tooth. After the chewing surfaces are roughened with an acid solution that helps the sealant adhere to the tooth, the sealant material is “painted” onto the tooth surface, where it hardens and bonds to the teeth. Sometimes a special light will be used to help the sealant material harden.

After sealant treatment, it’s important to avoid chewing on ice cubes, hard candy, popcorn kernels, or any hard or sticky foods. Your sealants will be checked for wear and chipping at your regular dental check-up.

Combined with good home care, a proper diet, and regular dental check-ups, sealants are very effective in helping prevent tooth decay.

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What are my options if I have missing teeth?

With many state-of-the-art dental treatments and prevention options available in dentistry today, there are fewer reasons for having to extract (remove) teeth.  When something does go wrong with a tooth, we try to do everything possible to restore the tooth to its original function.  Removing a tooth is the last option because we know that removal may lead to severe and costly dental and cosmetic problems if the tooth is not replaced.

Losing a tooth can be a very traumatic experience and it’s very unfortunate when it does happen.  Injury, accident, fracture, severe dental decay, and gum disease are the major reasons for having to remove a tooth.  If teeth are lost due to injury or have to be removed, it is imperative that they be replaced to avoid cosmetic and dental problems in the future.

When a tooth is lost, the jaw bone that helped to support that tooth begins to atrophy, causing the teeth on either side to shift or tip into the open space of the lost tooth.  Also, the tooth above or below the open space will start to move towards the open space because there is no opposing tooth to bite on.  These movements may create problems such as decay, gum disease, excessive wear on certain teeth, and TMJ (jaw joint) problems.  These problems and movements do not result immediately, but will eventually appear, compromising your chewing abilities, the health of your bite, and the beauty of your smile.

Options for replacement of missing teeth:

Removable bridges – This type of bridge is a good solution for replacing one or more missing teeth, especially in complex dental situations where other replacement options are not possible. They are usually made of tooth-colored, artificial teeth combined with metal clasps that hook onto adjacent natural teeth. Removable bridges are the most economical option for replacing missing teeth, but may be the least aesthetically pleasing. This is because the metal clasps on the appliances are often impossible to completely conceal.

Fixed bridges – This type of bridge is generally made of porcelain or composite material and is anchored (cemented) permanently to a natural teeth adjacent to the missing tooth site. The benefit of this type of bridge is that it is fixed (not removable) and it is very sturdy. The disadvantage is that in order to create a fixed appliance, two healthy, natural teeth will have to be crowned (capped) to hold the bridge in place.

Dentures – This type of tooth replacement is used when most or all of the natural teeth are missing in one dental arch. Dentures are removable artificial teeth that are made to closely resemble the patients’ original teeth.

Implants – Are a great way to replace one or more missing teeth. They may also be great to support ill fitting dentures. A dental implant is an artificial root that is surgically placed into the jaw bone to replace a missing tooth. An artificial tooth is placed on the implant, giving the appearance and feel of a natural tooth. Implants are very stable, durable, and are the most aesthetically pleasing tooth replacement option.

If you are missing teeth, ask us if they need replacement and what options are available to you. Together we will select the best replacement option for your particular case. Prevention and early treatment is always less involved and less costly than delaying treatment and allowing a serious problem to develop.

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What are porcelain veneers and how can they improve my smile?

Porcelain veneers are very thin shells of tooth-shaped porcelain that are individually crafted to cover the fronts of teeth.  They are very durable and will not stain, making them a very popular solution for those seeking to restore or enhance the beauty of their smile.

Veneers may be used to restore or correct the following dental conditions:

  • Severely discolored or stained teeth
  • Unwanted or uneven spaces
  • Worn or chipped teeth
  • Slight tooth crowding
  • Misshapen teeth
  • Teeth that are too small or large

Getting veneers usually requires two visits.  Veneers are created from an impression (mold) of your teeth that is then sent to a professional dental laboratory where each veneer is custom-made (for shape and color) for your individual smile.

With little or no anesthesia, teeth are prepared by lightly buffing and shaping the front surface of the teeth to allow for the small thickness of veneers.  The veneers are carefully fitted and bonded onto the tooth surface with special bonding cements and occasionally a specialized light may be used to harden and set the bond.

Veneers are an excellent dental treatment that can dramatically improve your teeth and give you a natural, beautiful smile.

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How can cosmetic dentistry help improve the appearance of my smile?

If you’re feeling somewhat self-conscious about your teeth, or just want to improve your smile, cosmetic dental treatments may be the answer to a more beautiful, confident smile.

Cosmetic dentistry has become very popular in the last several years, not only due to the many advances in cosmetic dental procedures and materials available today, but also because patients are becoming more and more focused on improving their overall health.  This includes dental prevention and having a healthier, whiter, more radiant smile.

There are many cosmetic dental procedures available to improve your teeth and enhance your smile.  Depending on your particular needs, cosmetic dental treatments can change your smile dramatically, from restoring a single tooth to having a full mouth make-over.  Ask your dentist how you can improve the health and beauty of your smile with cosmetic dentistry.

Cosmetic Procedures:

Teeth Whitening: Bleaching lightens teeth that have been stained or discolored by age, food, drink, and smoking.  Teeth darkened as a result of injury or taking certain medications can also be bleached, but the effectiveness depends on the degree of staining present.

Composite (tooth-colored) Fillings: Also known as “bonding”, composite fillings are now widely used instead of amalgam (silver) fillings to repair teeth with cavities, and also to replace old defective fillings.  Tooth-colored fillings are also used to repair chipped, broken, or discolored teeth.  This type of filling is also very useful to fill in gaps and to protect sensitive, exposed root surfaces caused by gum recession.

Porcelain Veneers: Veneers are thin custom-made, tooth-colored shells that are bonded onto the fronts of teeth to create a beautiful individual smile.  They can help restore or camouflage damaged, discolored, poorly shaped, or misaligned teeth.  Unlike crowns, veneers require minimal tooth structure to be removed from the surface of the tooth.

Porcelain Crowns (caps): A crown is a tooth-colored, custom-made covering that encases the entire tooth surface restoring it to its original shape and size.  Crowns protect and strengthen teeth that cannot be restored with fillings or other types of restorations.  They are ideal for teeth that have large, fractured or broken fillings and also for those that are badly decayed.

Dental Implants: Dental implants are artificial roots that are surgically placed into the jaw to replace one or more missing teeth.  Porcelain crowns, bridges, and dentures can be made specifically to fit and attach to implants, giving a patient a strong, stable, and durable solution to removable dental appliances.

Orthodontics: Less visible and more effective brackets and wires are making straightening teeth with orthodontics much more appealing to adult patients.  Also, in some cases, teeth may be straightened with custom-made, clear, removable aligners that require no braces.

Thanks to the advances in modern dentistry, cosmetic treatments can make a difference in making your smile shine!

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How can I tell if I have gingivitis or periodontitis (gum disease)?

Four out of five people have periodontal disease and don’t know it!  Most people are not aware of it because the disease is usually painless in the early stages.  Unlike tooth decay, which often causes discomfort, it is possible to have periodontal disease without noticeable symptoms.  Having regular dental check-ups and periodontal examinations are very important and will help detect if periodontal problems exist.

Periodontal disease begins when plaque, a sticky, colorless, film of bacteria, food debris, and saliva, is left on the teeth and gums.  The bacteria produce toxins (acids) that inflame the gums and slowly destroy the bone.  Brushing and flossing regularly and properly will ensure that plaque is not left behind to do its damage.

Other than poor oral hygiene, there are several other factors that may increase the risk of developing periodontal disease:

  • Smoking or chewing tobacco – Tobacco users are more likely than nonusers to form plaque and tartar on their teeth.
  • Certain tooth or appliance conditions – Bridges that no longer fit properly, crowded teeth, or defective fillings that may trap plaque and bacteria.
  • Many medications – Steroids, cancer therapy drugs, blood pressure meds, oral contraceptives.  Some medications have side affects that reduce saliva, making the mouth dry and plaque easier to adhere to the teeth and gums.
  • Pregnancy, oral contraceptives, and puberty – Can cause changes in hormone levels, causing gum tissue to become more sensitive to bacteria toxins.
  • Systemic diseases – Diabetes, blood cell disorders, HIV / AIDS, etc.
  • Genetics may play role – Some patients may be predisposed to a more aggressive type of periodontitis.  Patients with a family history of tooth loss should pay particular attention to their gums.

Signs and Symptoms of Periodontal Disease

  • Red and puffy gums – Gums should never be red or swollen.
  • Bleeding gums – Gums should never bleed, even when you brush vigorously or use dental floss.
  • Persistent bad breath – Caused by bacteria in the mouth.
  • New spacing between teeth – Caused by bone loss.
  • Loose teeth – Also caused by bone loss or weakened periodontal fibers (fibers that support the tooth to the bone).
  • Pus around the teeth and gums – Sign that there is an infection present.
  • Receding gums – Loss of gum around a tooth.
  • Tenderness or Discomfort – Plaque, calculus, and bacteria irritate the gums and teeth.

Good oral hygiene, a balanced diet, and regular dental visits can help reduce your risk of developing periodontal disease.

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Do you take my insurance?

Dr. Kucharski is a Delta Dental Preferred Provider and accepts all “open” dental insurance plans, “open” meaning the plan allows you to go to an office of your choice. Examples of open plans are traditional indemnity dental insurance and Preferred Provider Organization (PPO.)

Our insurance benefit coordinator will provide a written estimate for all recommended dental treatment. This will include the cost of treatment, estimated insurance coverage and estimated patient share. However, it is important for you to know how your dental plan is designed, including its limitations and deductibles so that you can be prepared to pay your share on the day services are rendered. We will be happy to assist you in obtaining benefit information and will gladly submit your dental insurance claims at the time of service.

  • We accept cash, checks, debit cards, Visa & MasterCard.
  • We offer interest free payment plans (upon approval) through Care Credit. You may contact them at www.carecredit.com for additional information
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How do I contact the Doctor after hours?

Our after hours contact info is shown below. Please note that medications can only be dispensed to patients who have been previously seen in our office. You can always reach Dr. Kucharski in the case of an emergency at our after hours contact number (866)700-0862.  You will find instructions on how to reach the doctor on our office phone.
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What is “take home bleach”?

DayWhite! Take Home Whitening System

Zoom! in One Weekend!

The Zoom! Take-Home Whitening System just might be the fastest way to whiten teeth outside a dentists office. Its safe, fast and effective. Teeth can be dramatically whiter in just three nights. Zoom! Take-Home is perfect for multi-taskers and people on the go.

Zoom! Anywhere!

The Zoom! Take-Home Whitening System gives your patients the power to whiten practically anywhere. This revolutionary patent-pending gel whitens teeth an average of six shades in three nights*. The Zoom! Take-Home Whitening System utilizes custom made whitening trays. The Zoom! take home gel is worn for four to eight hours, either during the day or at night. Most will see satisfying results within three applications, but each Zoom! Weekender Kit will have enough for six.

How the Zoom! Take-Home System Works!

The Zoom! Take-Home Whitening System uses a patent-pending chemistry to whiten your teeth in just three nights. This special formula helps increase whitening in two ways. First, revolutionary surfactant technology helps improve gel penetration. Second, a new activation matrix helps control the release of oxygen into the teeth. As a result, whitening that takes weeks with other products only takes a weekend with Zoom!

DayWhite

DayWhite Take-Home Whitening System just might be the fastest way to whiten teeth outside a dentists office. Its safe, fast and effective. Teeth can be dramatically whiter in just seven to fourteen days. DayWhite Take-Home is perfect for multi-taskers and people on the go.

Whiten Your Teeth Anywhere!

DayWhite custom at home bleaching system gives you the power to whiten practically anywhere. This revolutionary patent-pending gel whitens teeth an average of six shades in seven days.  DayWhite Take-Home Whitening System utilizes custom made whitening trays. DayWhite take home gel is worn for one to two hours during the day.  Most will see satisfying results within one week of application.

How the DayWhite Take-Home System Works!

DayWhite Take-Home Whitening System uses a patent-pending chemistry to whiten your teeth in just seen to fourteen days. This special formula helps increase whitening in two ways. First, revolutionary surfactant technology helps improve gel penetration. Second, a new activation matrix helps control the release of oxygen into the teeth. As a result, the result is fabulous.

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What is ZOOM whitening?

Zoom! is a bleaching process that lightens discoloration of enamel and dentin. You may have seen the Zoom! process used by me on ABC’s Extreme Makeover.

How long does Zoom! Chairside Whitening take?
The complete procedure takes less than an hour. The procedure begins with a preparation period followed as little as by 45 minutes of bleaching. (A cleaning is recommended prior to the actual Zoom! whitening session.)
How does the Zoom! In-office system work?
The Zoom! light activated whitening gel’s active ingredient is Hydrogen Peroxide. As the Hydrogen Peroxide is broken down, oxygen enters the enamel and dentin, bleaching colored substances while the structure of the tooth is unchanged. The Zoom! light aids in activating the hydrogen peroxide and helps it penetrate the surface of the tooth. A study has shown that use of the Zoom! lamp increases the effectiveness of the Zoom! gel by 26% or more, giving an average improvement of up to eight shades.

What will I experience during the Zoom! In-Office Procedure?
During the procedure, patients may comfortably watch television or listen to music. Individuals with a strong gag reflex or anxiety may have difficulty undergoing the entire procedure.

How long do the results last?
By following some simple post whitening care instructions, your teeth will always be lighter than they were before. To keep your teeth looking their best, we recommend flossing, brushing twice daily, and occasional touch-ups with Zoom! Weekender or Nite White gel. These are professional formula products designed specifically to keep your teeth their brightest. They are available only through your dental professional.

Are there any side effects?
Sensitivity during the treatment may occur with some patients. The Zoom! light generates minimal heat which is the usual source of discomfort. On rare occasions, minor tingling sensations are experienced immediately after the procedure, but always dissipate. You can also ask your dentist to supply you with anti-sensitivity toothpaste for use prior to treatment.

What causes tooth discoloration?
There are many causes. The most common include aging and consumption of staining substances such as coffee, tea, colas, tobacco, red wine, etc. During tooth formation, consumption of tetracycline, certain antibiotics or excessive fluoride may also cause tooth discoloration.

Do many people whiten their teeth?
More people than you might imagine. A bright sparkling smile can make a big difference for everyone. The Zoom! Chairside Whitening System makes it easier and faster than ever before.

Who may benefit from tooth whitening?
Almost anyone. However, treatment may not be as effective for some as it is for others. Your dental professional can determine if you are a viable candidate for this procedure through a thorough oral exam, including a shade assessment.

Is whitening safe?
Yes. Extensive research and clinical studies indicate that whitening teeth under the supervision of a dentist is safe. In fact, many dentists consider whitening the safest cosmetic dental procedure available. As with any tooth whitening product, Zoom! is not recommended for children under 13 years of age and pregnant or lactating women.

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Do you accept payments?

Yes, we do.  We work with CareCredit, a GE Money Company which gives you convenient payment options so you can get the procedure you want, when you want it.  You can apply for CareCredit on-line at  www.carecredit.com
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