Perla Family Dental

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How can we help you?

We are happy to answer questions about our services and procedures.

These are a selection of some common questions that patients have. If your question isn't answered here, please contact our office. It's important to us that our patients understand their dental care.

Other

At this unique time with the uncertainty of COVID-19 (Coronavirus), we want to share with you additional steps we’re taking to ensure your health and safety at Perla Family Dental. As your dental healthcare provider, we want you to know that your health and safety is our priority. We’re doing everything we can to ensure the safety of our patients, staff, and visitors.

From the beginning of the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) outbreak, we’ve been on top of recommendations and guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and other agencies to stay up to date with the latest information.

If you have recently traveled to areas where there are ongoing outbreaks of COVID-19 and develop a fever with cough or shortness of breath within 14 days of your travel, or if you have had contact with someone who is suspected to have COVID-19, please contact your medical provider as soon as possible.

  • According to the CDC: “For most of the American public, who are unlikely to be exposed to this virus at this time, the immediate health risk from COVID-19 is considered low.”
  • The CDC is now recommending that anyone who has traveled to a Level 3 country – even if they don’t have any symptoms – to self-isolate for 14 days. As of March 9, 2020, these countries include China, Iran, Italy, and South Korea.
  • For the large majority of patients who may have flu-like symptoms, testing for Coronavirus is still not necessary. There are many reasons why someone may have fever, cough, shortness of breath. If you have severe symptoms that are getting worse, go to an emergency room and mask yourself as soon as you can.

We pride ourselves in practicing exceptionally high standards of cleanliness and hygiene. Regardless of the flu scare, we practice “universal precaution” and proactively sterilize/autoclave and disinfect all equipment, instruments, and surfaces. This is in addition to our daily cleaning routine of common area, counters, doorknobs, chairs, handles, and equipment.

Finally, we all need to work together and be vigilant about the spread of germs – especially during cold and flu season. The best ways to protect yourself and those around you are to:

  • Practice Respiratory Etiquette: Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue, then throw it in the trash can. If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your bent elbow.
     
  • Practice Hand Hygiene: Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds; especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with 60% to 95% alcohol.
     
  • Take Environmental Health Action: Routinely clean frequently touched surfaces and objects like cellphones, keyboards, and doorknobs.

We’re encouraging our staff who are sick to stay home and patients who are sick to reschedule their dental appointments.

Thank you for your support and we wish you and your family good health!

Cleanings & Examinations

Even with excellent hygiene habits, it's easy to miss small areas of your teeth. Over time, the missed plaque will harden into tartar, which can only be removed with a dental hygienist's tools. When tartar accumulates beneath the gumline, the end result is red, puffy, inflamed gums – the beginnings of periodontal disease. 

Examinations are an important opportunity for us to check in with you, see how you are doing, and make sure that your teeth are healthy. We want to catch problems when they are small and can be treated easily. This allows for more comfortable and less costly dentistry for you. Unfortunately, by the time you are in pain, simple measures are no longer effective.

Regular examinations allow us to nip this situation in the bud and keep your teeth healthy and beautiful.

Dental x-rays are one of our most important diagnostic tools. Problems often start inside your teeth or beneath the gum line. By the time the problem is visible to the naked eye, it can be painful and more difficult to treat. Using x-rays taken on a regular basis, we can catch problems early and treat them quickly and comfortably.

Cosmetic Dentistry

Absolutely not! You are never too old to have a beautiful smile. Call us today to find out what we can do to help you. We'd be happy to show you pictures of some of our other cosmetic transformations.

We offer a range of cosmetic dentistry services such as veneers, porcelain crowns, bonding using tooth-colored composite, and even orthodontic treatments like Invisalign. All our of dentistry is done with an eye toward aesthetics. We know that it's important that your teeth are both healthy and attractive. If you'd like to find out which of our services can help you meet your goals, call our office to schedule your consultation.

Sometimes, a simple teeth whitening procedure is all it takes to put the sparkle back into your smile. If your staining or discoloration is resistant to whitening, however, we have other ways of improving the appearance of your teeth using cosmetic dentistry procedures such as veneers, bonding, or porcelain crowns. Call us to find out which of our services is right for you.

Crowns & Bridges

Dental crowns are designed to be very durable and to function much like your own teeth. You need to use common sense, however, and avoid biting down directly on foods like hard candy or nuts. A broken crown is not just costly to replace, but you may also damage underlying healthy tooth structure.

A dental bridge is a very effective solution for filling the space left by a missing tooth. It is basically a single dental restoration that usually includes two dental crowns and a replacement tooth (pontic) that fills the empty space. The dental crowns are secured to adjacent teeth on either side of the empty space and provide support for the artificial tooth.

Modern dental materials and technology have dramatically improved the appearance of dental crowns and bridges. The porcelain used in today’s crowns and bridges can be color-matched to blend perfectly with the shade of your natural teeth. With proper placement, your dental restoration should be virtually indistinguishable from your natural teeth.

Dentures & Partials

At first, your dentist may recommend that you wear your dentures to sleep. This will speed up your mouth’s adjustment to the dentures and allow you to quickly detect and correct any spots where the fit is uncomfortable. After your mouth has adjusted to the dentures, they may be worn throughout the day and removed while you sleep.

Yes. When you first get your dentures, you will need to start with soft foods and slowly introduce harder foods as you get used to biting and chewing with the dentures in. Chew gently and take smaller bites to avoid loosening the dentures as you eat.

It will take your mouth some time to get used to the feel of dentures. After a few months, however, you will feel comfortable eating and speaking with your dentures in and experience little to no soreness or discomfort. If you ever do experience soreness or if your dentures aren’t fitting right, please let us know.

Emergency Dental Care

If you are in pain, then you are having a dental emergency. Call us right away so that we can examine you, diagnose the problem, and create a treatment plan. Other signs that indicate the need for an emergency appointment include:

  • A pimple-like lesion on your gum
  • A broken or cracked tooth
  • A foreign object lodged between your teeth
  • Swelling in the gum
  • A broken or lost dental restoration such as a filling or a crown

We will do our very best to get you in the same day for dental emergencies. If this is not possible, we will see you the next day at the latest.

The goal of an emergency dental appointment is to address the immediate need, resolve your problem, and relieve your pain. If we believe further care is needed, we will schedule you a regular appointment to follow up and set up an appropriate treatment plan to prevent future problems.

Family Dentistry

We welcome all ages in our office! We are happy to discuss your scheduling needs, so just give us a call and speak with our friendly front desk staff!

We recommend that you brush your teeth at least twice daily using good technique. Our skilled dental hygienists will be happy to review your technique with you and give you pointers to help you improve to get the most out of your home-care routine.

For most patients, we recommend twice-yearly visits for cleanings and examinations. If you are currently being treated for a particular concern, we may recommend that you visit us more often.

Invisalign

Invisalign is a great option for both adults and teenagers. In fact, Invisalign has a product created specifically for teenagers – Invisalign Teen. If your teenager needs to have crooked teeth or other dental flaws corrected, call our office and schedule an appointment to discuss Invisalign Teen.

To clean your Invisalign aligners, you remove them and then rinse them with warm water and a cleanser designed for Invisalign, which your dentist will provide. Never rinse your aligners with hot water because this can cause them to warp. You should also avoid brushing them with a regular toothbrush and toothpaste because these are abrasive and can damage the surface of the aligner.

Invisalign has a number of advantages over traditional braces:

  • Invisalign is practically invisible.
  • Invisalign can be cleaned quickly and easily.
  • No wires need to be tightened.
  • You have fewer visits to the dentist.
  • You remove the aligners to eat, so Invisalign doesn't limit the foods you can enjoy. 

Pediatric Dentistry

We know that convenience is important for today’s busy families. That is why we offer dentistry for the whole family including your children. We begin seeing kids at a young age to make sure they have a healthy dental foundation.

We will determine the type of preventive care necessary for your child based on recommendations from the American Dental Association and your child’s unique needs. If you have concerns about certain types of treatment, call our office; we will be happy to discuss those with you.

Yes. A child who has a tough time sitting still will need additional support in getting used to the dental office. We can help them become familiar with the surroundings so that when it is time for their dental cleaning, they will be used to our office and the environment.

Periodontal Disease Prevention & Treatment

In its earliest stages, we can reverse gum disease by improving your hygiene routine and adding in an antimicrobial treatment. Once gum disease has progressed past a certain point, however, the disease is not reversible. We can still provide treatment that will stop the disease in its tracks and prevent further deterioration of your gum and bone tissue.

Coming in for regular cleanings with one of our excellent dental hygienists will help keep your gums in great shape, but what you do at home matters as well. Brush twice daily and floss every evening. Our hygienists will be happy to show you good brushing and flossing technique.

Other steps you can take to prevent gum disease include:

  • Don't smoke or chew tobacco
  • Eat a healthy diet full of fresh fruits and vegetables
  • Use an antiseptic mouthwash. We'll be happy to recommend one.
  • If you have a health condition that can affect your dental health such as diabetes, heart disease, or cancer, please let us know so that we can take extra steps to help keep your gums healthy.

The appropriate treatment for your gum disease will vary depending on how far your disease has progressed and any contributing factors such as hygiene and other health conditions. Some of the treatments recommended for gum disease include:

  • An increased dedication to excellent oral hygiene
  • Antimicrobial rinses and other products
  • An antibiotic medication that is placed in the gum pockets
  • Deep cleaning (scaling and root planing)
  • Laser therapy
  • Gum surgery

We will discuss your situation with you and recommend the treatment that we believe will be the most appropriate for your unique needs.

Root Canal Therapy

When the interior of your tooth is infected, it can cause a lot of pain and is likely to damage the nerve. If left untreated, the infection could spread to other teeth. Root canal therapy removes the infection and relieves the pain, restoring the tooth and allowing us to save it.

The techniques used to perform root canals have advanced considerably, making this routine procedure no more uncomfortable or inconvenient than a filling. Many people who need a root canal are currently in pain, and a root canal will relieve your pain and save your tooth. After your procedure, you may experience some swelling and discomfort, but this will go away quickly.

Teeth Whitening

While the whitening kits you can find at your local drugstore cost less than professional kits, the truth is that this is a case where you get what you pay for. Drugstore whitening kits are designed to be "one size fits all," which often translates to "one size fits none." The strengths are much lower than what you can get in a professional kit, meaning that you must use the product for a longer period of time and are still unlikely to get the results you can find in a professional product. Additionally, your results are not being monitored by the dentist you know and trust.

Teeth staining can have several different causes. Some of the most common culprits we see include:

  • Smoking
  • Drinking staining beverages such as coffee, tea, and red wine
  • Eating staining foods like berries and curry
  • Inadequate dental hygiene
  • Certain health conditions
  • Genetics

It shouldn't. 

Most professional whitening products contain an added desensitizing ingredient that protects even sensitive teeth and keeps you comfortable during the process. Additionally, the customizable nature of professional whitening treatments prevents the product from coming into contact with soft tissues like your gums, lips, and tongue. 

If your teeth are very sensitive, please talk to us so that we can help you determine whether whitening is appropriate for you.

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Dear Valued Patients,

Our office is now open. Please call us at (408)755-0797 to schedule an appointment. Your safety is our number one priority.

Thank You and Stay Safe!
Perla Family Dental