Ankeny Dental Associates

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

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. 

Cleanings & Exams

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.

X-rays are a dentist's most important diagnostic tool. Often, problems 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.

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 the 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.

Dental Implants

Dental implants are intended to blend in seamlessly with your natural teeth.

One of the advantages of this is that you can brush them and floss them the same as you would with your regular teeth. While implants never get cavities (and never need root canals!), you still want to continue brushing and flossing to keep your natural teeth and your gums healthy.

While dental implants do tend to cost more than bridges or dentures, they are also the most life-like, stable, and functional replacement, closely mimicking the appearance and function of your natural teeth. They also last longer, which can save you money in the long run. Call our office today to schedule your consultation.

Dental implants have several advantages over other tooth replacement options:

  • Dental implants appear the most life-like and natural.
  • The actual implant piece of the dental implant is made of titanium, a biocompatible metal.
  • Dental implants are the most secure and stable.
  • Dental implants prevent bone loss, keeping your jaw tissue healthy and preventing changes in the shape of your face.
  • With proper care, dental implants can last a lifetime.

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 a regular appointment for you 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. 

Smile Makeovers

If you are looking for solutions that address the health and wholeness of your smile, the answer is yes! Treatments like crowns, bridges, and dental implants enhance your appearance while protecting your oral health. Certain dental health problems can also affect your overall wellness, so it is important to work with your dentist to decide the best way to maintain a smile that is both healthy and beautiful.

The cost of a smile makeover really depends on the type and extent of work you need. There is a wide variance in the cost of services, ranging from complex procedures like dental implants to basic treatments like dental bonding. Depending on your situation, any of these types of procedures can have a dramatic impact on the appearance and health of your smile. But the cost can only be determined after your dentist decides which is the most appropriate for your specific needs.

We provide a number of different services that are designed to address your unique dental needs. Our dedicated team of professionals will work with you to develop a treatment plan that ensures your continued oral health and leaves you with a beautiful smile you can be proud of.

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.

TMJ and Bruxism

Having headaches can be a symptom of TMJ disorders. In order to determine if that is the case for you, we can do an evaluation. If your symptoms are due to TMJ, we will provide treatment alternatives to help.

While teeth grinding, also known as bruxism, is very common among adults, it can cause serious damage to your teeth and jaw joints. If you wake up with sore muscles or you have noticed that you clench or grind your teeth, we can make a night guard that will help protect your teeth.

Symptoms for TMJ disorders can vary dramatically from one person to the next and can include facial pain, neck pain, headaches, sensitive teeth, clicking or popping joints, locking jaw joints, and your teeth not coming together correctly.

If you experience any of these symptoms, call our office and we will schedule an exam to determine if you have a TMJ disorder.

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