Common Oral Healthcare Questions

If your oral diagnosis includes procedures that you do not understand, then do not hesitate to ask questions. The doctor and his friendly staff will be glad to help you get the answers you need so that you may relax.

What causes tooth decay?

Tooth decay is caused by plaque in your mouth reacting with sugary and starchy deposits from food. This reaction produces acid which damages the enamel over time and weakens the tooth.

Why do my gums bleed after I brush?

It is certainly not desirable to have bleeding gums following brushing. Bleeding gums can be caused by one of the following: improper,rough,scrubbing instead of gentle,circular brushing motions; using a hard bristled toothbrush instead of using a soft one;plaque and/or tarter build up below the gum line or gum sensitivity due to gingivitis or periodontal disease. If this problem persists despite correct brushing and flossing methods or occurs every time you brush, contact our office to set up an evaluation appointment.

What is a root canal?

A root canal is a treatment which is used to repair and save a tooth that is badly decayed or has become infected. During a root canal procedure, the nerve and pulp are removed. Then, the inside of the tooth is cleaned and sealed. Without proper treatment, the tissue surrounding the tooth will become infected and abscesses may occur.

Click on the following image to view a presentation of how the dentist performs the root canal.

Root canal video on Vimeo

What are dental implants?

Dental implants can cure the embarrassment of missing or severely damage teeth. The video will show two commonly used implant methods.

Dr. Conner will review your case and make the recommendation that best suits your needs.

Click on the following image to view a presentation of how the dentist performs dental implants.

Dental implants video on YouTube

Tooth Extractions

What should you expect when you are scheduled for a tooth extraction? Your dentist will numb the area to lessen any discomfort. After the extraction, your dentist will advise you of what post extraction regimen to follow, in most cases a small amount of bleeding is normal.

Avoid anything that might prevent normal healing. It is usually best not to smoke or rinse your mouth vigorously, or drink through a straw for 24 hours. These activities could dislodge the clot and delay healing.

For the first few days, if you must rinse, rinse your mouth gently afterward, for pain or swelling, apply a cold cloth or an ice bag. Ask your dentist about pain medication. You can brush and floss the other teeth as usual. But don't clean the teeth next to the tooth socket.

When having an extraction, today's modern procedures and follow up care as recommended by your dentist are there to provide you the patient great benefit and comfort.

Teeth Whitening

You may want to start by speaking with your dentist. He can tell you whether whitening procedures would be effective for you. Whiteners may not correct all types of discoloration. For example, yellowish hued teeth will probably bleach well, brownish-colored teeth may bleach less well, and grayish-hued teeth may not bleach well at all. Likewise, bleaching may not enhance your smile if you have had bonding or tooth-colored fillings placed in your front teeth. The whitener will not affect the color of these materials, and they will stand out in your newly whitened smile. In these cases, you may want to investigate other options, like porcelain veneers or dental bonding.

In-Office Bleaching

If you are a candidate for bleaching, your dentist may suggest a procedure that can be done in his or her office. Each visit may take at least one hour. During chair-side bleaching the Hygienist will apply a protective gel to your gums to protect the oral soft tissues. A bleaching agent is then applied to the teeth, and a special light may be used to enhance the action of the agent. Lasers have been used during tooth whitening procedures to enhance the action of the whitening agent.


If you want a smile that's your crowning glory, you may need a crown to cover a tooth and restore it to its normal shape and size. A crown can make your tooth stronger and improve its appearance.

It can cover and support a tooth with a large filling when there isn't enough tooth left. It can be used to attach a bridge, protect a weak tooth from breaking or restore one that's already broken. A crown is a good way to cover teeth that are discolored or badly shaped. It's also used to cover a dental implant.

If your dentist recommends a crown, it's probably to correct one of these conditions. Your dentist's primary concern, like yours, is helping you keep your teeth healthy and your smile bright -- literally, your crowning glory.

For information on more procedures and services, visit
American Dental Association’s Oral Health Topics. Red arrow pointing to 'Oral Health Topics' link


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