Q: What is a crown and why do I need one?

A:  If Dr. Strickland has recommended a crown to you, it is likely either to correct a broken tooth or to repair a tooth that has deteriorated due to decay. The decay in your tooth eats away healthy tooth structure much like rust eats away at metal. If not removed, decay will deteriorate the tooth to the point where extraction is the only viable treatment option. Sometimes after decay is removed, there is healthy tooth structure left, but not much of it. A crown can then be placed, restoring the look and function of your tooth while allowing you to keep your natural, underlying tooth structure. Most crowns are precision-milled porcelain or gold and are individually customized for each application in each patient, giving you a natural, long lasting smile.

Q: I know I need X-Rays, but I’d prefer to not be exposed to unnecessary radiation. Do you offer digital X-Rays?

A:  Yes, we do offer digital X-Rays. Digital X-Rays use less radiation and are safer for you than traditional film X-Rays. You will find that Dr. Strickland and his team research the latest trends in technology to find the solutions that promote your overall health, safety and comfort.

Q: How does fluoride help my teeth?

A:  Research shows that fluoride reduces cavities in both children and adults by halting tooth decay. It also helps repair the early stages of tooth decay even before the decay becomes visible. Interestingly, many people continue to be misinformed about fluoride and fluoridation. Fluoride is a safe chemical component when used correctly. When Dr. Strickland applies fluoride to your teeth, usually in the form of a fluoride varnish, gel, or foam, that fluoride is more concentrated than the fluoride contained in toothpaste or mouthwash. The ADA recommends that dental professionals use any of the professional strength, fluoride varnishes, gels or foam products carrying the ADA Seal of Acceptance.

Q: What are my options to replace a missing tooth?

A:  By replacing missing teeth either with a bridge or implant, you will alleviate the problems associated with missing a tooth and give your smile back its beautiful, full appearance. A bridge is one solution for replacing a tooth. By using neighboring teeth as the supportive structure, Dr. Strickland places a porcelain restoration into the vacant space, restoring the functionality and look of your smile. A dental implant is also an excellent solution. Dental implants involve the placement of a titanium post directly into the jawbone. Once the post has bonded to the bone, it can act as a new, solid support for a natural looking, porcelain restoration. Implants can replace a single tooth, or an entire set of teeth, offering more function and permanence than traditional dentures.

Q: What can I expect from my first appointment?

A: During your first appointment, your overall dental and oral health will be assessed with a comprehensive oral evaluation. Upon completion of your medical / dental health form, we will ask you to tell us your goals regarding your smile, teeth, and gums. Digital photos and X-Rays will be taken of your teeth to identify areas of decay, cracked teeth, and malfunctioning restorations. Dr. Strickland’s goal is to preserve as much of your teeth as possible by catching decay in its earliest stages. We’ll also assess your gums and recommend the appropriate hygiene treatment for you.

Q: Do you accept new patient referrals?

A: Over the years patients have given Dr. Strickland the compliment of referring family and friends to our practice. Our reputation for excellent dental care depends on two things: our good work and your beautiful smile. Your confidence in our care motivates us to continue to strive for excellence. Thank you for your referrals. Your trust and support are greatly appreciated.

Q: What different payment options do you provide?

A:  Helping to make your dental care financially comfortable and affordable is important and we proudly offer a variety of options:

• Cash or personal checks
• 5% cash courtesy for advance payment of entire treatment plan
• VISA/MasterCard/Discover
• Lending Club
• CareCredit™

We are happy to estimate fees and insurance reimbursement before starting recommended treatments and will gladly file insurance forms for you. Optimal, comprehensive dentistry is what we practice and we do not base our treatment on what insurance will or will not pay. Dr. Strickland bases his treatment on what is best for you and any treatment not paid by insurance is your financial responsibility.

Q: My gums bleed. Why is this?

A: Gums affected by periodontal disease become red and inflamed, often bleeding during brushing or flossing. Timely treatment can reverse these conditions. However, if these conditions are ignored, your periodontal disease can worsen, becoming a condition called periodontitis. Periodontitis is much more difficult to treat.

Periodontitis affects your gums, bone and teeth in a manner that cannot be reversed. To prevent tooth loss, you may require more extensive, specialized treatment from your general dentist or even a periodontist. If left untreated, periodontitis results in tooth loss – teeth either fall out on their own, or must be extracted. If you don’t diagnose and treat periodontitis in its early stages, you may require extensive surgery to save your teeth and may put yourself at risk for other serious health problems.

Q: What is periodontal disease?

A: Gums affected by periodontal disease become red and inflamed, often times bleeding during brushing or flossing. If treated in a timely manner, these conditions can be reversed, preventing periodontal disease from developing. Periodontitis is much more difficult to treat.

According to Caesy Dental Education, “Ailments associated with periodontal disease include respiratory disease, pneumonia, strokes, ulcers, difficult-to-control diabetes, low birth weight babies, and infective endocarditis, a dangerous infection of the heart valves. Researchers recently discovered that this chronic infection in your mouth creates an open doorway for plaque bacteria to enter the blood stream. These bacteria – Streptococcus sangguis – may cause blood clots that can block your arteries and even trigger a heart attack.”

Q: How can porcelain veneers help my smile?

A: Porcelain veneers improve your smile by correcting a multitude of cosmetic concerns including gaps in teeth, chips and broken teeth, dull or yellowing teeth that cannot be whitened with traditional means, “gummy smile” (showing too much gum when one smiles), and crooked teeth. Porcelain veneers broaden, straighten, whiten and beautify most any smile. This procedure can be done in as little as two clinical visits. Many of our patients feel like this was the best improvement that could have been done for their overall confidence. Ask us about how porcelain veneers can improve your smile at your next visit or send us an email.

Q: How can I safely whiten my teeth?

A: There are a number of procedures available to help whiten your smile. Dr. Strickland evaluates the potential for whitening your teeth based on their current color and the causes of any discoloration. Once you decide on the most appropriate method, you will spend anywhere from 2 to 4 weeks utilizing a custom tray and a whitening gel to provide you with a much brighter smile!

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