Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Registered Dental Hygienist?

The dental hygienist is a preventive oral health professional who provides educational, clinical, research, administrative, and therapeutic services supporting total health and optimal oral health. In practice, dental hygienists integrate the roles of clinician, educator, advocate, manager, and researcher to preventoral diseases and promote health.  Dental hygienists work in partnership with dentists.  They perform tasks including oral cancer screening, scaling, polishing, root planning, taking x-rays, applying sealants, and fluoride, recording data such as periodontal charting.

Dental Hygiene Practice

I have sensitive gums.  What can you do to make a cleaning more comfortable?

To help your gums, we have topical anesthetic gel to place along the gum line.  It numbs to gums for ten minutes or so.  It comes in fruit flavors or mint.  We also have oraqix.  It’s a numbing liquid that we can place under the gum line.  It sets up as a gel and stays in place numbing your gums for 20 minutes.

Why do I have sensitive teeth?

Sometimes recession occurs exposing the root of the tooth.  The root isn’t protected with emanel, it is porous and those microscopic pores conduct sensations of touch and temperature to the nerve of the tooth.  We can use a desensitizing polishing paste that “spackles” the sensitive pores of your teeth to decrease your sensitivity.  Also using a desensitizing tooth paste at home can help.

Why do you need to take x-rays?

Dental X-rays are a useful diagnostic tool that helps your dentist detect damage and disease not visible during a regular dental exam. How often X-rays should be taken depends on your present oral health, your age, your risk for disease, and any signs and symptoms of oral disease. For example, children may require X-rays more often than adults because their teeth and jaws are still developing and their teeth are more likely to be affected by tooth decay than those of adults. Your dentist will review your history, examine your mouth and then decide whether or not you need X-rays.

If you are a new patient, the dentist may recommend X-rays to determine the present status of your oral health and have a baseline to help identify changes that may occur later.  A panoramic x-ray shows taken every 3-5 years show all your teeth, the ones in your mouth and the unerupted ones, your entire upper arch including sinuses & your entire jaw bone, including your temporomandibular joints also known as TMJ.

What is a sealant and why was it recommended for my daughters molars?

A sealant is a protective bonding that adheres in the pits and grooves of the chewing surfaces on molars.  Seven out of ten children and teenagers have at least one cavity on a permanent tooth.  Nine out of ten cavities are found on the chewing surfaces of the molars, sometimes just because the tooth brush cannot clean the deepest part of the grooves and pits. Dental sealants can help prevent permanent teeth from getting cavities.The procedure is easy.  First the chewing surface is thoroughly cleaned.  Then a special gel is put on the grooves and is washed off with water. The tooth is dried and then the sealant is placed on the chewing surface and usually a special light blue is used to harden the sealant.

How does fluoride do to help my teeth?

Fluoride inhibits the loss of minerals for the tooth enamel and encourages remineralization of weakened areas.  Fluoride also affects the bacteria that cause cavities, discouraging the acid attacks that break down the tooth.  It like a super hero for your teeth!

How do I know if my insurance will let me come to your office?

Insurance policies are written as open panel, closed panel, for in-network and out-of-network dentists.  We are In-Network for Delta Dental of NJ Premier Policy and United Health Care.  We can work with your dental insurance if you have an open policy (where you can see any dentist, not one on a list you must choose from).  We can also work with your insurance if you have out of network option, again not a closed panel list.