FAQs

Q. What causes tooth loss?

A. Tooth decay and periodontal disease are the most common causes of tooth loss. Tooth decay takes place when most of the tooth’s mineral makeup has been dissolved away and a hole (cavity) has formed. While tooth decay primarily affects children, periodontal disease, or gum disease, affects mostly adults. Periodontal disease is an infection of the gums caused by the buildup of plaque, and its earliest stage is known as gingivitis.

 

Q. How many times a day should I brush my teeth?

A. Most dental professionals recommend that you brush your teeth at least twice a day. Brushing after every meal (and flossing at least once a day) is also a good way to maintain dental health

 

Q. When should a child have his/her first dental appointment?

A. A child should have his first dental appointment no later than his third birthday. Many dentists recommend a child have his first appointment when the first tooth comes in.

 

Q. Is it important to floss your teeth?

A. Yes. flossing once a day prevents the buildup of plaque and deters the onset of gingivitis and periodontal disease.

 

Q. What is cosmetic dentistry?

A. Also known as “aesthetic dentistry” cosmetic dentistry is a branch of dentistry that implements many different procedures to improve the beauty of your smile.

 

Q. What is a root canal?

A. Root canal is necessary when the nerve or blood supply of the tooth (also known as the pulp) is infected due to injury or decay. Root canal treatment involves removal of the diseased pulp, followed by the cleaning and sealing of the pulp chamber and root canal.

 

Q. What are dentures and who needs them?

A. Dentures are a partial or complete set of artificial teeth used to occupy the upper or lower jaw, usually attached to a plate. Simply put, dentures are a set of false teeth. If you have lost most or all of your teeth, you are a perfect candidate for complete dentures. If you still have some natural teeth remaining, a partial denture is recommended to help improve chewing ability, speech, and support for facial muscles.

 

Q. What causes oral cancer and what are some of the warning signs?

A. Tobacco (cigarettes, pipes, cigars, chewing tobacco, and snuff) is the most common cause of oral cancer. Combining tobacco use with heavy drinking can also foster the development of oral cancer. Bad hygiene, prolonged irritation of the oral cavity, and extended exposure to strong sunlight on the lips are among other causes of the disease. Many dentists believe vitamins A and E can help prevent the acquisition of oral cancer. Early symptoms of oral cancer include: a sore on the lip, in the mouth, or in the throat that does not heal; a lump on the lip, in the mouth, or in the throat; a red or white patch found anywhere in the mouth; unusual pain or bleeding in the mouth; swelling of the mouth; and any difficulty or discomfort felt in chewing or swallowing.

 

Q. What are the treatments for periodontal disease?

A. If periodontal disease is caught at an early stage (when it has not progressed beyond the point of gingivitis), it can be treated with scaling and root-planing (removing plaque around the tooth and smoothing the roots’ surfaces). If the disease progresses to a later stage, the patient may need surgical treatment, which involves cutting the gums, eliminating the hardened plaque build-up, and repairing the damaged bone.

 

Q. What causes oral cancer and what are some of the warning signs?

A. Tobacco (cigarettes, pipes, cigars, chewing tobacco, and snuff) is the most common cause of oral cancer. Combining tobacco use with heavy drinking can also foster the development of oral cancer. Bad hygiene, prolonged irritation of the oral cavity, and extended exposure to strong sunlight on the lips are among other causes of the disease. Many dentists believe vitamins A and E can help prevent the acquisition of oral cancer. Early symptoms of oral cancer include: a sore on the lip, in the mouth, or in the throat that does not heal; a lump on the lip, in the mouth, or in the throat; a red or white patch found anywhere in the mouth; unusual pain or bleeding in the mouth; swelling of the mouth; and any difficulty or discomfort felt in chewing or swallowing.

 

Q. What is gingivitis?

A. Gingivitis is inflammation of the gums around the roots of the teeth. It marks the early stage of periodontal disease and it is characterized by red, swollen gums.

 

Q. Who needs to have their wisdom teeth extracted?

A. Anyone who is in danger of developing impacted wisdom teeth (third molars that only partially erupt or get trapped or stuck in the jaw) should have them removed so that they do not damage adjacent molars and cause other oral problems. In addition, anyone who is getting dentures should have their wisdom teeth removed.

Read What Our Patients Say
Patient Reviews
Great service from the staff, dental assistant and dentist!!!
Alfanso P.
Dr. Shanahan’ work is top notch and his manner is very kind and considerate. I think Stephanie was the dental assistant’s name and she was fantastic. She kept me apprised of what was […]
Bonnie I.
The staff was amazing from the moment I called about a possible broken tooth. Everyone was personable, down to earth and its apparent to me that everyone is well educated in their field. I ultimately […]
Heather R.
Everyone was very friendly and extremely helpful
Raelene F.
Karen was friendly, professional, and efficient.
Jay R.
Dr. Ruffner is amazing! It was our son’s first cavity and Dr. Ruffner was patient and explained everything to our son as he went. Great experience from an outstanding doctor.
Mason S.
Dr. Rufner is EXCELLENT!! Indeed, all of the staff that i encountered were so friendly and helpful.
Theodore S.
The staff is very friendly, patient , and I wouldn’t change my dentist for anything! I look forward to getting my teeth cleaned !
#5
Staff was great and Dr. Wolfe took his time and was patient with my situation and was very knowledgeable
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Staff is friendly.
Pamela H.
Just was able to get quickly, I keep a busy schedule going back and forth to my job in Springfield. Keep up the good work.
Mike C.
We are very happy with the friendly staff & having the specialist Dentist so we do not have to go to another office! We tell our friends all the time where we go!
Paul H.
The staff is friendly and thorough. We never have to wait long and they’re attentive to my needs.
Ian K.
Jennifer! and reception staff! Always a great and warm experience. Services are done in a timely and professional manner, office is clean and well-maintained.
Lori B.
Very warm & attentive staff. I felt cared for. My hygienist talked me throughout the entire treatment. Way to go Jen. Thank you
Frieda R.
Always fast in and out. Dental hygenists are very friendly. Dentists are also very friendly and talk you through any questions. Afterwards, all billing is a breeze as the front desk takes care of it […]
Jay K.
What a GREAT dental office!! The staff & doctors are wonderful & caring professionals. Every time I go there it feels like visiting family. If you are looking for a dental office that cares […]
Deborah P.
Very friendly and professional staff. Karen is the best!!
William M.
Always good service.
Kailey B.
The hygienist is awesome!!!
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