Frequently Asked Dental Questions – Dr. Eugene Antenucci

Below is a list of some of the questions we get asked most frequently from our patients. If you have a question that isn't answered below, feel free to give our Bay Shore New York, General Dentistry, NY dental practice a call and we'll be happy to assist you.

Cosmetic Dentistry
What are porcelain veneers?

Porcelain veneers are thin shells of porcelain that bond to the anterior surfaces of teeth. Custom-made to meet the needs of each patient individually, the shade, tone, and luminosity of each veneer will meticulously duplicate the patient’s surrounding teeth. With a semi-translucent, enamel-like characteristic, porcelain veneers allow light to become absorbed and reflected off the dentin beneath, resulting in vivid, luminescent teeth that appear altogether all-natural and absolutely flawless.

What is professional teeth whitening?

Professional teeth whitening is an enhanced and exclusive cosmetic dentistry teeth whitening system that makes use of an exceptionally concentrated whitening gel formula and laser light, to completely transform dull or stained teeth into fundamental aspects of a brilliant and luminescent smile.

Do you replace silver fillings?

Tooth-colored fillings prevent future health risks that have been associated with the mercury that is contained in, and sometimes, released from silver metal fillings. For patients who are concerned about their amalgam fillings, tooth-colored fillings deliver an impressive solution that is not only safe but completely natural.

What is Invisalign® orthodontic treatment?

Patients undergoing Invisalign® orthodontic treatment wear transparent plastic aligners (quite similar to mouthguards) that are custom-made using digital computer technology. The aligner is removable, which means that the patient has the option to remove the aligner for special occasions and important business meetings.

Restorative Dentistry
What is Full Mouth Reconstruction?

Missing, split, damaged, decayed, blemished, and crowded teeth can create a number of complications and impact a person’s self-confidence. If most or even every single one of a patient’s teeth is in need of dental work, the most effective treatment plan is typically a tailored, full mouth restoration. Full mouth rehabilitation brings together a number of restorative and cosmetic dental procedures for them to restore functionality, beauty, and health to the patient’s mouth, extensively strengthening the quality of life and confidence.

What are dental crowns and bridges used for?

Spaces created by missing teeth can be eliminated by installing dental bridges in the mouth. Dental bridges merge dental implants and/or crowns together, to improve the chewing function and generate a more cosmetically pleasing aesthetics.

What are dental implants and dental onlays?

Teeth that have come to be decayed or compromised may benefit from dental onlays and inlays. This restorative treatment option is a more conservative alternative to traditional dental crowns. An inlay replaces tooth structure inside the cusp tips of molars, while more considerable tooth damage may be managed and remedied with onlays which encompass the entire chewing area of the tooth.

Are dentures a good option?

Consisting of a full or partial set of replacement teeth, dentures are removable dental prosthetic that rest on top of or are affixed to the gums, and serve to help to recover function to the mouth. Prosthetic teeth make it possible for individuals to chew and talk with more significant ease and comfort. And because dentures are removed at any time, they patients adaptability in cleaning and other activities.

Are dental implants a reliable option for replacing missing teeth?

Dental implants offer exceptional long-term solutions for missing teeth. With long-lasting titanium posts that literally become part of your jawbone, paired with natural-looking teeth that are fastened to the outer portion of the implants, dental implants restore the mouth to full functioning capability and substantially enhance the overall aesthetics of the smile.

General Dentistry
Why do I Need to have dental cleanings and examinations?

Regular brushing and flossing is essential to the overall health and well-being of your mouth, but maintaining good dental hygiene also requires regular professional oral exams and dental cleanings. Individuals need to have professional dental cleanings and oral assessments at least every six months, according to their particular needs.

What is Root Canal Therapy?

Root canal therapy involves the removal of damaged dental pulp (the nerve of the tooth). In order to eliminate infection, permanent removal of the nerve of the tooth, in order to remove an abscess is often required.

What is Gum Disease

Gum disease is a serious oral health concern that, if left to advance, can ultimately result in tooth loss. Periodontal maintenance at Bay Dental Health provides patients with both preventative alternatives for maintaining healthy gums and restorative solutions for addressing gum disease that has already progressed.

What is TMJ Disorder?

TMJ disorders causes a number of frustrating symptoms, including joint soreness in the jaw, shoulder ache, headaches, earaches, and tooth pain. The clicking or popping of the jaw (when it is opened wide) is one of the many symptoms of TMJ disorder. Among the most common sources of TMJ disorder are teeth grinding or jaw clenching, that put the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) under unnecessary stress.

Are there treatment options for snoring and sleep apnea?

An excessive amount of snoring may simply be a hassle, disturbing sleep for both the patient and his/her partner, however what many people don’t know is that snoring may suggest a condition known as sleep apnea is occurring. Sleep apnea is the obstruction of the respiration flow between the voice box and the nose which has the ability to decrease oxygen in the blood to alarmingly low levels.

Are there children’s dental care options?

Exceptional oral hygiene is something that develops over time. The ideal time to teach your child about oral hygiene habits begins during childhood. When children learn about the perks of obtaining excellent oral care habits at an early age, they will continue to practice optimal hygiene habits throughout their life. At Bay Dental Health, we provide complete dental care for children and teens, which include oral exams, digital X-rays, cleanings, fluoride treatment, gum disease prevention, sealants, and cavity maintenance.

Do you treat dental emergencies?

Given that dental issues may have an effect on one’s ability to work or sleep and induce distressing pain, the doctors of Bay Dental Health are readily available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to care for their patients at the time of unexpected emergencies involving the teeth and gums. Our on-call staff is available to handle emergencies whenever they occur, even if it’s in the middle of the evening.

Taking Care of Your Teeth and Gums
How often should I visit the dentist?

You should visit the dentist at least twice a year. A dental exam can reveal early signs of decay and disease that you may not see or feel. Catching these conditions early can help control them before them get worse and harder to treat. Additionally, getting a cleaning by a trained professional will remove plaque in areas you may have missed or cannot reach.

How often should I brush and floss my teeth?

You should brush at least twice a day, once in the morning and once before going to bed. You should floss once a day as well.

What is the proper way to brush my teeth?

The following guidelines are important to brushing correctly.

1.Firstly, make sure to use a soft bristled brush. Hard bristled brushes can wear down the enamel of your teeth.

2. Place your brush at a 45 degree angle to your gumline. Bristles should contact both the tooth surface and the gumline.

3. Use short back and forth strokes or tiny circular movements to brush your teeth. Each movement should be no bigger than the size of each tooth.

4. Make sure to use gentle strokes while brushing. Gentle strokes are effective in removing plaque, while too much pressure can wear down the enamel of your teeth.

5. Brush all surfaces of each tooth, including the outer, inner, and the chewing surfaces of the teeth.

6. Finally, don't cut your brushing short! Make sure to brush for at least 2 minutes.

What is the proper way to floss?

The following guidelines are important to flossing correctly.

1. Take 18" of floss and wind it around the middle finger of each hand .You can use these fingers to take up floss as it becomes dirty. Using your thumb and forefinger, pinch the floss leaving 1-2 inches in between for cleaning.

2. Gently move the floss up and down the spaces of your teeth. Never snap the floss down onto your gums, as it can cause damage.

3. As you move the floss down into the space between two teeth, slide it up and down against the surface of one tooth. Gently clean at the gumline as well.

4. Repeat this process for all of your teeth.

What is plaque?

Plaque is a sticky, clear film which forms every day on teeth from food debris and bacteria. If plaque is not removed, it can lead to gum disease and cavities. Regular dental check ups, along with brushing and flossing every day, can help prevent plaque buildup on teeth. In addition, avoiding sugary snacks and eating a balanced diet can help control plaque.

Periodontal (Gum) Disease
What is periodontal (gum) disease

Periodontal (gum) disease is an infection of the gums and bone that hold your teeth in place. Typically, periodontal disease occures when plaque builds up on the teeth and hardens, often due to poor brushing habits. The gums can become swollen and red in the early stage of the disease, called gingivitis. As the disease advances, periodontal disease can lead to sore and bleeding gums, pain while chewing, as well as tooth loss.

What are the signs of periodontal disease?

The following are signs of periodontal (gum) disease, and you should contact your dentist if you experience any of these:

  • gums that bleed while brushing
  • red, swollen or tender gums
  • gums that have pulled away from the teeth
  • bad breath that doesn't go away
  • pus between your teeth and gums
  • loose teeth
  • a change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite
  • a change in the fit of partial dentures
How can I prevent periodontal disease?

Periodontal disease can be prevented by practicing good oral hygiene. This includes brushing, flossing, and visiting you dentist regularly. Also make sure to eat a healthy diet to get the required vitamins and minerals necessary for your teeth.

Teeth Whitening
Why do our teeth turn yellow?

While our teeth start out pearly white, they can discolor through the years as our enamel wears down. The wearing down of enamel allows dentin, a yellow color substance that makes the core of our teeth, to show through. This is what gives our teeth a yellowish tint.

What are the different types of teeth whitening options?

Below are the three most popular teeth whitening options available today.

In-office teeth whitening
In-office teeth whitening works by producing a significant color change in your teeth in short amount of time, usally within an hour. The procedure is done at the dentist's office applying a high-concentration peroxide gel on the teeth after they have been protected with a special shield.

Professionally Dispensed Take-Home Whitening Kits
These whitening kits are purchased from your doctor for use at home. The strength of the gel used in these kits is lower than that used for in-office bleaching, and thus the gel can be applied for longer periods of time. Usually the trays are worn a couple hours a day or overnight for a few days or weeks depending on the product.

Over the counter whitening
Over the counter teeth whitening kits are store-bought and use a lower concentration gel than both in-office bleachin and take-home kits purchased from your doctor. While they are less expensive, they typically are less effective than methods that can be performed by your dentist because of the low concentration gel. Additionally, over the counter trays are not custom fit for your teeth, which can result in irritation to your gums while wearing the trays.

How long does teeth whitening last?

Teeth whitening usually lasts from one to three years before darkening of the teeth is noticed. Additionally, once your teeth have been initially whitened, typically only "touch ups" are required to maintain the whiteness.

Other Common Questions
What can I do about bad breath?

Bad breath is caused by a variety of factors, including the types of food you ingest, periodontal disease, dry mouth, and other causes. Going to your dentist will help you determine the cause of your bad breath, so that you can take steps to elminate it.

Regardless of the cause of your bad breath, good oral hygiene and regular checkups to the dentist will help reduce it. Brushing and flossing will eliminate particles of food stuck between your teeth which emit odors. It will also help prevent or treat periodontal disease (gum disease), caused by plaque buildup on your teeth, which can lead to bad breath. Dentures should be properly cleaned and soaked overnight in antibacterial solution (unless otherwise advised by your dentist). Finally, make sure to brush your tongue regularly to eliminate any residue.