Frequently Asked Questions


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Cosmetic Procedures
Can I afford cosmetic dentistry?

Cosmetic dentistry offers many different options. Some patients require treatments that are relatively easy and inexpensive. Others need more extensive procedures to reach their goals. Questions are always answered and fees are discussed before treatment begins. Out-of-office financing is also available. At Sullivant Dentistry, it is important for us to see that our clients receive the cosmetic dentistry care that they seek, which is why we make financing an option with CareCredit.

What is a porcelain inlay/onlay

A porcelain inlay or onlay is a piece of porcelain that fits into or onto the tooth. It holds the tooth together and makes the tooth stronger while keeping the tooth looking natural.

What types of problems does cosmetic dentistry solve?

If your teeth are dark or worn and make you look older, if gaps or chips make you feel self-conscious, or if crooked or discolored teeth stop you from smiling fully, cosmetic dentistry can help. The negative effects of abnormal gum tissue or out-of-date dental treatment are also problems that can be corrected with cosmetic dentistry. How long does it take to get a new smile? Although each case is unique, some new smiles are completed in a single visit.

Is teeth whitening harmful?

Teeth whitening is not harmful to the teeth in any way. It simply removes stains from the teeth that may be caused by coffee, teas, tobacco, food and tartar. A very small percentage of patients do report sensitivity after bleaching, but is often completely reversible. Depending on how well you maintain your teeth and the type of habits you have, it may last a very long time.

How long do veneers and crowns last?

How long veneers or crowns last depends on many different factors, such as care at home, how well you keep follow-up visits to your dentist, as well as the quality of the crown or veneer.

Gingivitis
What is gingivitis?

Gingivitis is gum inflammation. Bacteria make the gums red, tender, swollen and bleed easily. Gingivitis is reversible. Without proper care, gingivitis can lead to periodontitis, a serious bacterial infection. Periodontitis can cause gums to recede, as well as bone loss, which can lead to tooth loss. Periodontitis is not reversible.

How do you fight plaque and gingivitis?

1) Brush teeth twice daily with fluoride toothpaste

2) Floss daily to clean between teeth.

3) Rinse with an ADA-Accepted antimicrobial mouthrinse.

4) See your dental professional twice a year.

Gum Disease
What is plaque biofilm?

Plaque biofilm is a slippery layer of bacteria living and growing all over your mouth. Let plaque biofilm grow and it can lead to cavities. Without proper care, plaque biofilm can cause gingivitis or gum inflammation.

What is gingivitis?

Gingivitis is gum inflammation. Bacteria make the gums red, tender, swollen and bleed easily. Gingivitis is reversible. Without proper care, gingivitis can lead to periodontitis, a serious bacterial infection. Periodontitis can cause gums to recede, as well as bone loss, which can lead to tooth loss. Periodontitis is not reversible.

How do you fight plaque and gingivitis?

1) Brush teeth twice daily with fluoride toothpaste

2) Floss daily to clean between teeth.

3) Rinse with an ADA-Accepted antimicrobial mouthrinse.

4) See your dental professional twice a year.

Why do gum pockets form?

Bacteria collect in pockets beneath the teeth. Pockets gradually deepen, and inflammation worsens as the roots of teeth and soft tissues are destroyed by bacteria.

Why does gum disease worsen?

More and more tooth is exposed as gum pockets deepen. Tissue and bone supporting teeth are destroyed. Roots are exposed as teeth loosen, and may be rejected as alien bodies.

What is laser dentistry?

There are several dental procedures in which a laser is very effective. Laser dentistry can be used for teeth whitening, surgery on the gums (periodontal disease), and in place of the traditional dental drill in some situations. Laser dentistry is an advanced technology for patients of all ages. Dr. Sullivant has attended the Institute for Advanced Laser Dentistry in Los Angeles, CA and is extensively trained in multiple types of lasers and their wide variety of uses.

Latest Technology
What is laser dentistry?

There are several dental procedures in which a laser is very effective. Laser dentistry can be used for teeth whitening, surgery on the gums (periodontal disease), and in place of the traditional dental drill in some situations. Laser dentistry is an advanced technology for patients of all ages. Dr. Sullivant has attended the Institute for Advanced Laser Dentistry in Los Angeles, CA and is extensively trained in multiple types of lasers and their wide variety of uses.

Oral Hygiene
What are the steps to flossing & brushing?

1. Pull about 18" of dental floss and wrap it around the ends of both fingers.

 

2. Gently slide the floss up and down against each side of each tooth.

 

3. Angle the toothbrush against the gumline and gently brush back and forth.

 

4. Brush inside and outside the chewing surfaces of every tooth.

 

5. Don't forget to brush your tongue and the roof of your mouth.

Oral Irrigation
What is an oral irrigator?

An oral irrigator shoots a stream of pulsating water out of a nozzle or tip. Irrigators are effective at removing food debris, germs, and bacteria, which remain in areas that cannot be properly cleaned by brushing and flossing alone.

What is the difference in the Hydro Floss® and another oral irrigator?

According to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Periodontology (May 1993; 20: 314-317) titled "The Effect of Oral Irrigation with a Magnetic Treatment Device on Plaque and Calculus," the group using an irrigator with a magnetic device showed a 44% greater reduction in calculus volume and a 42% greater reduction in an area over the group using an unmagnetized irrigator. Exactly what does that mean? It means that when tested against an unmagnetized irrigator, the Hydro Floss® is almost twice as effective.

Does the Hydro Floss® work like other irrigators?

All irrigators function similarly; however, the Hydro Floss® will massage and caress your gums with a gentle pulsating stream of water. It will help or aid in controlling the formation of plaque and calculus, and will remove deposits at AND slightly above the gum line. it removes food debris, germs, and bacteria from those hard-to-reach places, leaving your mouth feeling clean and refreshed. Best of all, the Hydro Floss® is almost twice as effective.

If I just bought an electric toothbrush, do I still need a Hydro Floss®?

Yes! As good as some electric toothbrushes may be, they are still toothbrushes. They may clean the areas that they can reach much better than manual brushes, however, there are areas on the teeth which no toothbrush, manual or electric, can clean. These are the areas most likely to cause a problem.

Periodontal Disease
What is periodontal disease?

Periodontal disease is a disease of the supporting tissues of the teeth. There are two main stages of periodontal disease. The first stage, Gingivitis, is an inflammation or swelling of the gums. The second stage, Periodontitis, affects the ligaments and bones that hold your teeth. Ask your dentist about various symptoms of periodontal disease. It is the number one cause of tooth loss, but is usually treatable if detected early. 

Plaque
What is plaque biofilm?

Plaque biofilm is a slippery layer of bacteria living and growing all over your mouth. Let plaque biofilm grow and it can lead to cavities. Without proper care, plaque biofilm can cause gingivitis or gum inflammation.

What is plaque and why is it so hard to remove?

Plaque is a sticky material made up of food particles, saliva, germs and bacteria that attaches to the tooth at and below the gum line. Because of where it lives, plaque that becomes a problem usually builds in the areas we fail to clean properly. We tend to neglect hard-to-reach areas, such as at and below the gum line, between the teeth, and all the little nooks of the tooth. It is the plaque, which has attached itself to other plaque, that is so tenacious and hard to remove. 

What is calculus?

When combined with other ingredients and factors, mineralized or calcified plaque is described as calculus. Calculus is usually more difficult to remove than plaque and can begin to form in as little as eight hours. 

Why does plaque accumulate?

Plaque is a thin, colorless, sticky bacterial growth. It accumulates at the gum line and between the teeth.

Why do deposits harden?

Unremoved plaque hardens into calculus on the teeth. More plaque forms on top of it and hardens. Gum tissues become inflamed and loosen from teeth.

How do you fight plaque and gingivitis?

1) Brush teeth twice daily with fluoride toothpaste

2) Floss daily to clean between teeth.

3) Rinse with an ADA-Accepted antimicrobial mouthrinse.

4) See your dental professional twice a year.

Sullivant Dentistry • 727 North Cardinal Drive • Mountain Home, Arkansas 72653 • Phone: 870-425-4242 • Fax: 870-425-4243
Sullivant Dentistry
727 North Cardinal Drive • Mountain Home, Arkansas 72653
Phone: 870-425-4242 • Fax: 870-425-4243
Sullivant Dentistry
727 North Cardinal Drive
Mountain Home, Arkansas 72653
Phone: 870-425-4242
Fax: 870-425-4243