The Dental Studio of Iowa

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How can we help you?

We are happy to answer questions about our services and procedures.

These are a selection of some common questions that patients have. If your question isn't answered here, please contact our office. It's important to us that our patients understand their dental care.

Children's Dentistry

We know that convenience is important for today’s busy families. That is why we offer dentistry for the whole family including your children. We begin seeing kids at a young age to make sure they have a healthy dental foundation.

We will determine the type of preventive care necessary for your child based on recommendations from the American Dental Association and your child’s unique needs. If you have concerns about certain types of treatment, call our office; we will be happy to discuss those with you.

Yes. A child who has a tough time sitting still will need additional support in getting used to the dental office. We can help them become familiar with the surroundings so that when it is time for their dental cleaning, they will be used to our office and the environment.

Cosmetic Dentistry

Absolutely not! You are never too old to have a beautiful smile. Call us today to find out what we can do to help you. We'd be happy to show you pictures of some of our other cosmetic transformations.

We offer a range of cosmetic dentistry services such as veneers, porcelain crowns, bonding using tooth-colored composite, and even orthodontic treatments like Invisalign. All our of dentistry is done with an eye toward aesthetics. We know that it's important that your teeth are both healthy and attractive. If you'd like to find out which of our services can help you meet your goals, call our office to schedule your consultation.

Sometimes, a simple teeth whitening procedure is all it takes to put the sparkle back into your smile. If your staining or discoloration is resistant to whitening, however, we have other ways of improving the appearance of your teeth using cosmetic dentistry procedures such as veneers, bonding, or porcelain crowns. Call us to find out which of our services is right for you.

Crowns & Bridges

Dental crowns are designed to be very durable and to function much like your own teeth. You need to use common sense, however, and avoid biting down directly on foods like hard candy or nuts. A broken crown is not just costly to replace, but you may also damage underlying healthy tooth structure.

A dental bridge is a very effective solution for filling the space left by a missing tooth. It is basically a single dental restoration that usually includes two dental crowns and a replacement tooth (pontic) that fills the empty space. The dental crowns are secured to adjacent teeth on either side of the empty space and provide support for the artificial tooth.

Modern dental materials and technology have dramatically improved the appearance of dental crowns and bridges. The porcelain used in today’s crowns and bridges can be color-matched to blend perfectly with the shade of your natural teeth. With proper placement, your dental restoration should be virtually indistinguishable from your natural teeth.

Dental Implants

Dental implants are intended to blend in seamlessly with your natural teeth.

One of the advantages of this is that you can brush them and floss them the same as you would with your regular teeth. While implants never get cavities (and never need root canals!), you still want to continue brushing and flossing to keep your natural teeth and your gums healthy.

While dental implants do tend to cost more than bridges or dentures, they are also the most life-like, stable, and functional replacement, closely mimicking the appearance and function of your natural teeth. They also last longer, which can save you money in the long run. Call our office today to schedule your consultation.

Dental implants have several advantages over other tooth replacement options:

  • Dental implants appear the most life-like and natural.
  • The actual implant piece of the dental implant is made of titanium, a biocompatible metal.
  • Dental implants are the most secure and stable.
  • Dental implants prevent bone loss, keeping your jaw tissue healthy and preventing changes in the shape of your face.
  • With proper care, dental implants can last a lifetime.

Emergency Services

If you are in pain, then you are having a dental emergency. Call us right away so that we can examine you, diagnose the problem, and create a treatment plan. Other signs that indicate the need for an emergency appointment include:

  • A pimple-like lesion on your gum
  • A broken or cracked tooth
  • A foreign object lodged between your teeth
  • Swelling in the gum
  • A broken or lost dental restoration such as a filling or a crown

We will do our very best to get you in the same day for dental emergencies. If this is not possible, we will see you the next day at the latest.

The goal of an emergency dental appointment is to address the immediate need, resolve your problem, and relieve your pain. If we believe further care is needed, we will schedule you a regular appointment to follow up and set up an appropriate treatment plan to prevent future problems.

Extractions

We are in the business of protecting teeth. When we recommend a dental extraction, it is because no other option exists and we need to remove your tooth to relieve symptoms or to protect your oral health.

A dental extraction is not the end of the world, though it does create some concerns for our patients. We are here to help. While you may have some anxiety about you dental extraction, we always strive to provide gentle, comfortable treatment by using appropriate levels of anesthetic to make sure you don’t feel any pain.

Losing a tooth can cause concern about your smile and being able to eat the food you need to stay healthy and that you enjoy. We offer many tooth-replacement options to complete your smile. We will go over all of your options at your appointment and start an appropriate plan to have you feeling yourself again as quickly as possible.

Dental extractions are sometimes avoidable with preventive and restorative dentistry. If you notice something is wrong or if you feel any symptoms, including pain or swelling, contact us right away. Acting fast will often give us the opportunity to save your tooth.

Give us a call to schedule a dental appointment.

A dental extraction poses many questions regarding the future of your smile and your oral health. Unless you have a wisdom tooth extracted, we recommend replacing a missing tooth. This will prevent your teeth from shifting and causing additional problems with your oral health. When your teeth shift, it can expose roots and cause problems with your bite. When you replace a missing tooth, you prevent the shifting that occurs with tooth loss.

Additionally, replacing missing teeth makes it easier to chew and to smile confidently. 

We offer a number of options to meet your needs:

Fixed dental bridge – We can replace a missing tooth with an artificial tooth anchored by two dental crowns. We will match your dental bridge to your existing teeth for an esthetic result.

Partial denture – If you are missing multiple teeth, we can replace multiple teeth at once with a partial denture. Partial dentures come in either a metal base or a lightweight acrylic base. We will discuss which option will work best for you.

Complete denture – If you are facing dental extractions of all of your teeth on your upper or lower arch, a complete denture will replace all of your teeth at once. Our dentures are highly esthetic and fit comfortably.

One of the priorities in our dental office is to provide comfortable, gentle dentistry for our patients. Dental extraction treatment is no different. Before we begin, we will discuss your history with dental care. If you have difficulty getting numb, let us know. We can take some extra time anesthetizing your tooth to make sure you have a comfortable experience. Gentle care is important to us and since each patient is different, we will discuss any concerns you may have before we even begin.

It is normal to have some discomfort and swelling following a dental extraction. Typically, this can be addressed with over-the-counter medication such as ibuprofen. We will talk to you about dosing recommendations and what to expect as you recover. Fortunately, the human mouth heals fairly quickly, as long as you avoid certain behaviors such as smoking and drinking through a straw following treatment.

You will likely feel a dramatic improvement in a couple of days and will feel completely healed within a week or two. We will schedule a follow-up exam to monitor your healing and make sure that everything is on track. We will be here with you every step of the way.

We also offer a number of options for replacing missing teeth, if necessary. Contact us for an appointment and we will go over everything with you, so you feel comfortable with your dental treatment.

Invisalign

Invisalign is a great option for both adults and teenagers. In fact, Invisalign has a product created specifically for teenagers – Invisalign Teen. If your teenager needs to have crooked teeth or other dental flaws corrected, call our office and schedule an appointment to discuss Invisalign Teen.

To clean your Invisalign aligners, you remove them and then rinse them with warm water and a cleanser designed for Invisalign, which your dentist will provide. Never rinse your aligners with hot water because this can cause them to warp. You should also avoid brushing them with a regular toothbrush and toothpaste because these are abrasive and can damage the surface of the aligner.

Invisalign has a number of advantages over traditional braces:

  • Invisalign is practically invisible.
  • Invisalign can be cleaned quickly and easily.
  • No wires need to be tightened.
  • You have fewer visits to the dentist.
  • You remove the aligners to eat, so Invisalign doesn't limit the foods you can enjoy.

Porcelain Veneers

Porcelain veneers are considered to be a permanent restoration since they are bonded to the surface of your teeth. They are made of porcelain, a very strong material, so it is rare for them to chip or fall off. In the unlikely event that this does happen, however, the veneer can be repaired and bonded back in place.

It is not possible to change the shade of any restorative dental material with teeth whitening. If you are interested in having your natural teeth whitened, this should be done before veneers are placed. Your veneers can then be matched to the shade of your whitened teeth.

Porcelain veneers have been known to last anywhere from several years to decades. Porcelain veneers are very strong and durable, but how long they last really depends on how well you take care of your teeth and your oral health in general. Proper oral hygiene plays a very important role in the longevity of your dental veneers. In general, though, you will get the most out of your veneers if you treat them with the same care as your natural teeth.

Teeth Whitening

While the whitening kits you can find at your local drugstore cost less than professional kits, the truth is that this is a case where you get what you pay for. Drugstore whitening kits are designed to be "one size fits all," which often translates to "one size fits none." The strengths are much lower than what you can get in a professional kit, meaning that you must use the product for a longer period of time and are still unlikely to get the results you can find in a professional product. Additionally, your results are not being monitored by the dentist you know and trust. 

Teeth staining can have several different causes. Some of the most common culprits we see include:

  • Smoking
  • Drinking staining beverages such as coffee, tea, and red wine
  • Eating staining foods like berries and curry
  • Inadequate dental hygiene
  • Certain health conditions
  • Genetics

It shouldn't. 

Most professional whitening products contain an added desensitizing ingredient that protects even sensitive teeth and keeps you comfortable during the process. Additionally, the customizable nature of professional whitening treatments prevents the product from coming into contact with soft tissues like your gums, lips, and tongue. 

If your teeth are very sensitive, please talk to us so that we can help you determine whether whitening is appropriate for you.

Tooth-Colored Fillings

Composite fillings bond directly to your tooth, which results in less healthy tooth removal. Amalgam fillings require additional drilling to provide anchors for the solid amalgam. Composite fillings are not as hard and inflexible as amalgam fillings, which means stresses caused by biting and chewing can be distributed more naturally and reduce the risk of your tooth cracking.

Yes. Unlike amalgam fillings, tooth-colored fillings are a custom-mixed resin composite. The composite mixture is matched to your tooth color and bonded directly to the tooth. This usually results in a filling that is nearly indistinguishable from your natural tooth.

Most insurance companies will cover composite fillings up to the cost of a silver amalgam filling. You may be responsible for the difference in cost between the more expensive composite filling and the amalgam filling. Our office will happily review your insurance coverage and discuss your financial options with you.

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