Frequently Asked Questions
At Mobile Comprehensive Dentistry, we have been caring for Mobile, Alabama and the surrounding communities for many years now and we've noticed patients coming in with the same questions over and over. It is normal to have questions when it comes to dentistry. We've listed a few of the most frequently asked questions we hear on a daily basis. Hopefully the answers will help you out. Always feel free to ask us any questions you may have.
What causes tooth sensitivity? Should I be worried about it?
Patients notice tooth sensitivity as pain when they eat hot or cold foods or drink hot or cold beverages. Tooth sensitivity is caused when the tooth surface has been worn away leaving the dentin layer bare or when gums have receded. This exposes the sensitive root of the tooth which allows for the heat or cold to reach your tooth's nerve resulting in pain. Exposed dentin is more vulnerable to decay and receding gums could be a sign of gum disease so yes, tooth sensitivity can be a precursor to other dental problems. If you are having sensitivity, let us know so we can evaluate and make the correct recommendations on how to deal with it.
Will it Hurt?
We hear this a lot. Patients are worried about the pain of the process. At Mobile Comprehensive Dentistry, our first priority is to make you completely comfortable and for treatment to be as pleasant as possible. We use modern technology that can help lessen the pain associated with dental procedures and Dr. O'Donnell and Dr. Willis deliver anesthetic with great skill and care; most never feel it at all. Painless dentistry at it's best! The doctors will confirm that you are completely numb and comfortable before proceeding with any treatment. For patients who feel fearful or deal with anxiety around dental appointments, we offer dental sedation. We want our patients to be relaxed and our team is great at helping you feel at ease while in the chair.
Why do you take xrays?
Dental xrays are very safe. Many diseases of the teeth and surrounding tissues cannot be seen with the naked eye. An xray may reveal small areas of decay between or below existing restorations, infections in the bone, periodontal (gum) disease, abcesses or cysts, developmental abnormalities, and some tumors. Finding and treating dental problems at an early stage can save time, money and often unnecessary discomfort. Xrays can detect damage to oral structures not visible during a regular exam.
Do you see children?
As a general dentistry practice, we believe in caring for the whole family. At Mobile Comprehensive Dentistry, we strive to educate in all areas of oral healthcare including the healthcare of your children. Parents should speak openly about an upcoming appointment and answer any questions your child may have. Treatment is directed at helping your family have positive experiences, develop effective oral habits, and maintain terrific overall health.
Which is better? Manual or Electric toothbrush?
Whether you use a manual or an electric toothbrush, the most important thing about your toothbrush is that you use it at least twice a day for two minutes each time. Both manual and electric toothbrushes are effective at cleaning your teeth. Many electric toothbrushes have a built in timer that can help you be a bit more thorough if your manual brushing techniques are less than optimal. The timer will make sure you are bushing for that full two minutes.
What is Gum Disease?
Gum disease is when bacteria surrounds your teeth and invades your gums. It generally starts with little or no symptoms (the reason it's important to visit us regularly) Early stages of gum disease (gingivitis) can start with red, swollen gums that bleed easily and have started to recede from the teeth (your teeth may begin to look longer), persistent bad breath, gum sensitivity to acidic foods. Later stages of gum disease include abscesses, tooth pain, bone loss in the jaw and tooth loss. Gingivitis is treatable at the early stages but if it becomes gum disease, it can not be cured, only managed. Your best option is to prevent gum disease by practicing good oral hygiene habits, visiting us frequently and telling us right away if you have any of the above symptoms.
My teeth don't hurt...Why do I have to come to the Dentist?
There are many dental problems that have no detectable symptoms, at least not at first. It's possible to have cavities and tooth decay, gingivitis, gum disease, tooth grinding, an infected tooth or oral cancer and not have any obvious symptoms. Even if you aren't experiencing pain, sensitivity, swelling or bleeding, there may still be a problem. That's why, at Mobile Comprehensive Dentistry, we use the latest technologies and techniques so we can detect potential problems even when you haven't told us something is bothering you. Visiting us twice a year for a hygiene check and doctor exam is important to detecting potential problems before they become big problems. Our goal is to keep you smiling!