Frequently Asked Questions

Family Dentistry

Q: What is the best toothbrush to use?

A: There are a lot of options out there when it comes to toothbrushes, but making the right choice is actually fairly simple. You need a soft-bristle brush that is the right size for your mouth. Typically, adults need a toothbrush with a head that is half an inch across and an inch long, but this can vary based on the size of your mouth. Look for a toothbrush that provides adequate coverage to the surface of your teeth, but is not so big that you have difficulty reaching the back of your mouth.

Beyond size and bristle firmness, everything else is a matter of personal preference. So find a toothbrush you like and that keeps your teeth and gums clean, and go with it.

Q: Can my family be seen at the same dentist?

A: Absolutely! First Dental Associates is a family-focused dental practice. We not only accommodate every member of your family – we welcome them. Our friendly staff will get to know your family, so we can provide the quality dental care you need to stay healthy.

Q: What is the safest athletic mouthguard option?

A: There are many options for athletic mouthguards, but for the most comfort and protection, you need a mouthguard that is custom fitted and built specifically for your mouth.

Implants

Q: Which is better, implants or dentures?

A: Although much of this depends on your individual needs, one thing to consider is that dental implants provide a level of stability and security not available from dentures alone. But you do not have to use implants to replace one tooth at a time. A few implants can be used to anchor and stabilize a set of dentures, either partial or full. Consult with the experts at First Dental Associates to find out which option is best for you.

Q: What are Dental Implants?

A: Dental implants consist of three parts:

  • An artificial root manufactured to exact specifications, made from surgical-grade titanium. Titanium is a bio-active metal that binds with the bone in your jaw.
  • An abutment, which provides a base to which the prosthetic tooth is attached
  • A prosthetic tooth, made from porcelain or resin composite, colored and shaped to look natural against your remaining teeth

Implants can be used to replace a single tooth, or replace multiple or an entire row of missing teeth with only a few anchors. A full implant is capable of replacing an entire row of upper or lower teeth using just four anchors, eliminating the need for dentures. If you have been suffering with partial or full dentures, are missing teeth, or feel you need teeth extracted, do not hesitate to call us to be evaluated for implants.

Q: When can dental implants be placed?

A:  How long after an extraction you will have to wait for an implant to be placed depends on your situation. Often, they can be positioned immediately, but in some cases it might be 4-6 months after extraction before an implant can be placed.

After several months, the support bone may grow thinner and shrink because of the lack of a natural tooth to stimulate the bone itself. If you have been missing teeth for longer than one year, you may be advised to have additional bone grafted to your jaw because one-third of your jaw’s thickness can be lost in the year following the loss of your tooth.

Q: What can I expect during a dental implant procedure?

A:  Each patient will be unique in their needs and treatment plan. The usual time for an implant procedure is 30 minutes for a single tooth. If you are missing more than one, the procedure may take longer, and multiple appointments may be necessary for some patients.

For a single implant, Dr. Sadeghi will use a local anesthetic and perform the procedure in his office. Multiple implants may require administration of a general anesthetic, which requires an outpatient surgery center.

With proper use of the latest anesthetics and medications, you won’t experience any pain.

Under strict sterile conditions, Dr. Sadeghi will make a small incision in the gum at the site of each implant. He will then insert the implant into the bone of your jaw. As the bone bonds to the implant, it forms a secure foundation onto which your new teeth are then attached and shaped to match your mouth. It takes several months for the bone to heal and fuse to the implant. Once healing is complete, you will return to the office to have the permanent prosthesis tooth or teeth attached.

Q: How do I care for myself after receiving implants?

A:  Each procedure is different, and Dr. Sadeghi will give you specific instructions about aftercare, but here are some general guidelines to follow:

  • Don’t brush your brush or floss for the first few days following your dental implant procedure. Use a special mouthwash or salt water rinse instead.
  • Resume your normal brushing and flossing routine after 2-3 days.
  • If you had a ridge modification, crown lengthening or sinus lift, you may also need antibiotics and/or an antibacterial mouthwash.
  • If your procedure required stitches and they aren’t absorbable, you’ll need to come back in after 7-10 days to have them removed.

Depending on the procedure and your level of discomfort, you may need to temporarily change your diet, and you may require pain medications. Ice packs can also help with swelling and discomfort.

Q: How do I care for my dental implants?

A:  Care for your dental implants the same as you would for the rest of your teeth. In addition to flossing once and brushing twice a day, it’s important to see your dentist at least twice a year for professional cleaning, an examination and X-rays. Dental implants are strong, and typically last a long time, they can be broken, just like your own teeth.

Avoid chewing hard candies or ice, and don’t use your teeth as tools to open packages.

Q: Why should you choose a dental implant?

A:  Dental implants can improve your appearance, and more importantly restore your oral health and keep your jaw strong and healthy. Dental implants can be performed in nearly all patients with missing teeth. If you have missing teeth or severe cavities, gum disease and other conditions that may require a dental implant, please contact us.

We can answer any questions you may have and schedule an appointment for an assessment to see if dental implants are a good solution to your problems.

Q: How do I know if I am a candidate for a dental implant(s)?

A:  If you are missing one or more teeth, you may be a candidate for a dental implant(s) if you are missing one or more teeth. However, some precautions are necessary for certain medical conditions, as well as for growing children.

Q: What is the difference between implants and bridges?

A:  Although a bridge can restore chewing function and achieve an acceptable esthetic outcome, the bone under the replacement tooth won’t be stimulated by chewing and is often reabsorbed into the body, creating a gap between the gums and the bridge. A dental implant does not require grinding of the adjacent teeth, and it stimulates the underlying bone, enhancing long-term esthetics.

Q: What are the advantages of having a dental implant(s)?

A:  Implants are made of composite titanium metal that bonds to the jawbone through a process called osseointegration. You won’t have to worry about your implant-supported restoration slipping or making embarrassing noises. Implants also don’t decay like the teeth that anchor fixed bridges so bone loss is generally not a problem.

Q: Do I need a bone graft?

A:  Adding or replacing missing bone to existing bone is often essential to ensure the success of a dental implant. After a thorough diagnostic examination, your dentist will recommend the treatment that is best for you.

Payment

Q: Do you have any specials?

A: Yes. With our referral program, we offer a $50 gift card for every patient you refer to First Dental Associates. We also provide free athletic mouthguards to local students – all you need is a student ID.

Check back soon for an upcoming Invisalign offer!

Q: What are my payment options?

A: At First Dental Associates we accept a variety of payment methods, so you are sure to find one that meets your financial needs. We accept cash, check, Visa, Mastercard, and American Express, Discover with a 5% discount for up-front payments. We offer twelve-month interest-free financing through CareCredit, and two years interest-free on Invisalign. We accept most insurances, so call our insurance coordinator for details on what your insurance provides.

Whitening

Q: Who may benefit from tooth whitening?

A:  Nearly anyone can benefit from a brighter, whiter smile. However, treatment results do vary. Your dental professional can help you decide if you are a good candidate through a careful oral examination that includes a shade assessment.

Q: Is whitening safe? Are there any side effects?

A: Extensive research and clinical studies demonstrate that teeth whitening under careful dental supervision is a safe procedure. Many dentists consider whitening the safest of all procedures. But please keep in mind that Zoom! is not recommended for young children under 13 or for pregnant or lactating women.

Some patients may experience sensitivity during treatment. The Glo light generates low heat, which can cause some discomfort. Rarely, minor tingling is experienced post procedure, but this always dissipates. Ask your dentist to provide anti-sensitivity toothpaste prior to treatment if you are concerned.

Q: How can I whiten my teeth?

A: There are multiple ways to whiten your teeth.

  • At-home whitening trays. These products use peroxide-based gels to bleach your teeth. Generally, the process involves the daily application of the gel in a custom-formed “mouthguard” for about two weeks. Side effects may include short-term tooth or gum sensitivity.
  • Porcelain veneers. Many people who have tetracycline-stained teeth and who cannot whiten their teeth with traditional means, or people who want a more permanent solution will opt for porcelain veneers. Porcelain veneers are a great way to whiten your teeth in a more permanent fashion. The veneers do not stain over time, and they also correct many other concerns you may have, including crooked teeth, gaps in teeth, and gummy smiles. Most of the smile makeovers you see on television are accomplished with porcelain veneers.
Q: I want my teeth to be whiter. Do you recommend at-home or in-office whitening?

A: Dentist-directed, at-home whitening is one of the most effective ways of brightening your smile. Your custom home-whitening kit involves a special tray that is tailored to fit over your teeth. You also receive prescription whitening gel, which is inserted into the tray before you wear it. Your dentist gives you detailed instructions about how long you should wear the tray each day, and you should expect the entire home whitening process to take between two and four weeks, leaving you with a dazzling smile.

Invisalign

Q: What is Invisalign?

A:  Invisalign is a revolutionary option for correcting misaligned teeth. More specifically, it is a series of clear trays. These trays are custom made to move your teeth into their correct position over time. Almost invisible, the trays can be taken out for special occasions, for eating meals and for tooth brushing but must be in place for at least 22 hours per day to properly do their job.

Q: How long must I wear Invisalign?

A:  Wearing time can vary depending on the degree of adjustment your teeth require. Invisalign patients sometimes complete the process in as little as six months, while others make take up to two years. Either way, you can be sure the correction mechanism will be much less obvious than traditional braces when you select Invisalign.

Q: Is there a route to straight teeth that's faster than Invisalign?

A:  For those wanting an almost instantaneously improved smile, porcelain veneers are the clear option. Porcelain veneers are completely different from braces or Invisalign in that they don’t correct your existing teeth, but are instead thin shells of ceramic material placed over your existing teeth.

Q: Why should I bother to undergo the tooth-straightening process?

A:  Not only do straight teeth boost confidence in big way, but many patients report a dramatic leap in self-esteem. Crooked teeth are also more difficult to clean and are more subject to decay. They make chewing much harder work, and this can ultimately lead to a painful condition called TMD (temporomandibular joint disorder). To avoid these problems it is best to address this challenge while also attaining a more attractive smile.

Contact Us Today to Make an Appointment

With Saturday and evening hours available at First Dental Associates, finding the time for the dental care you and your family need couldn’t be easier. Call our Reading, MA dental office at 781-438-1312 today to schedule an appointment with our dentist, Dr. Sadeghi, or simply fill out our online form and one of our associates will contact you shortly.