Frequently Asked Questions | Adam U. Gibson, DMD, LLC
How do I know when it is time to come in for a checkup?
We recommend that patients with good oral health schedule a checkup and hygiene visit twice each year. If you need more frequent visits, we'll let you know. Checkups are important because, even if you don't notice any pain or problems with your teeth, we may find signs of potential issues. For instance, demineralization is a precursor to decay, oral cancer often goes undetected until the later stages, and gum disease can be very stealthy. At your hygiene appointment, we'll clean plaque, tartar, and hardened food particles from your teeth. We'll also make sure your gums are healthy and strong.
Why is oral cancer so serious?
Oral cancer kills more people nationwide than either cervical or skin (melanoma) cancer, and only half of patients diagnosed will survive more than five years. The painless, sneaky disease often goes undetected until it spreads to the neck and lymph nodes, at which time, treatment becomes less effective. The dentist will perform an oral cancer screening during your exam. If oral cancer is detected in the early stage, patients are more likely to survive.
What happens if missing teeth are not replaced?
Missing teeth can lead to a host of other problems, including additional tooth loss. Research shows that if a missing tooth is not replaced, up to 20% of adjacent teeth will fall out in the next 4 to 8 years. Missing teeth also cause remaining teeth to shift, causing spaces between teeth, food impaction, bite collapse, chewing alteration, and TMJ pain. You’re also more susceptible to gum disease, a serious health condition that can significantly shorten your life span.
Does your office use lasers?
We use many kinds of lasers for precise, comfortable dentistry! DIAGNOdent is our cavity-detection laser. It will scan your teeth to find decay and areas prone to decay, and we will not have to inspect each of your teeth with a traditional dental hook.
Our soft-tissue laser allows us to treat gum disease, perform crown lengthening, harvest and place gum grafts, reduce gum tissue for esthetics, and do biopsies. You will need no stitches after laser surgery, and bleeding is minimal. Most patients recover more quickly after laser surgery than they do following traditional surgery.
I avoid dental visits because of anxiety. Is this normal? Can you help?
Many people fear dental visits because of negative past experiences or control issues. We understand dental anxiety and offer a solution to help you overcome your stress. With oral conscious sedation and IV sedation, we can help you gain full peace of mind and body so that you can receive the dental work you need and deserve.