Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Why do I need a dental crown?

One of the procedures we perform most often is placing dental crowns. Crowns are a versatile restoration that we use to solve a number of dental problems. At Mirage Dental, we’re pleased to offer our patients the convenience of state-of-the-art same-day crowns. Our crowns are beautiful and durable, and the entire process of creating a crown can be completed in just one office visit!

Primarily, dental crowns are used to strengthen and protect the integrity of your natural tooth. With proper care, your teeth should last a lifetime, so it’s important that we do everything possible to preserve the structure of your teeth.

A dental crown will usually be used to provide strength and functionality for a tooth that has been damaged and weakened by decay or periodontal disease. We also often use crowns to restore a tooth after a root canal.

Crowns are usually thought of as strictly functional, but they can also be used to conceal certain cosmetic imperfections. If you’d like to correct the appearance of a large silver filling, we can use a dental crown to cover the tooth and eliminate the “dark hole” in your smile. Crowns are also used to restore a chipped or cracked tooth and mask the appearance of a stained or discolored tooth.

Every patient is unique and has different dental needs. The best way for us to know if a dental crown is the right treatment for you is to do an examination at our office. Please call and make an appointment for a consultation and exam.

My spouse literally STOPS BREATHING while sleeping. It SCARES me to death! Is this normal?

NO, THIS IS NOT NORMAL. It is a symptom of a serious problem called Obstructive Sleep Apnea. Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is a condition where the airway becomes covered, usually by the tongue, due to abnormal muscle relaxation of the tongue and surrounding muscles in the throat area. With the airway covered, a person does not breathe. Since no breathing is taking place, one’s oxygen level in their body drops and their heart rate increases. This lowered oxygen level is dangerous because it can cause a stroke or heart attack. The higher heart rate is dangerous because it can aggravate high blood pressure. In an attempt to breathe, a person either awakens or partially awakens gasping for breath. Since an individual is always awakening to catch their breath, they never get the deep restful sleep needed by the body.

Medical research has shown that oral appliance therapy is very effective for mild and moderate sleep apnea, and very helpful for CPAP intolerant severe sleep apnea patients. This therapy is also very effective for people who snore, and people that have had surgery and the surgery was not successful.

I have receding gums that show when I smile. Are there alternatives to traditional gum grafting that can help me?

You may be a candidate for the Pinhole Surgical Technique. The Pinhole Surgical Technique is a minimally invasive option for treating gum recession. To perform the technique, a dental surgeon uses a needle to make a small hole in the patient’s existing gum tissue. Through this pinhole, the gum tissue is gently loosened by special instruments that help expand and slide the gumline to cover the exposed root structure. With no cutting, stitching, or grafts required, you can expect minimal swelling, pain, and bleeding after the gum treatment is complete. Call our office to schedule a consultation to see if the Pinhole Surgical Technique is right for you.

How is Botox used by the dentist?

Botox injections simply block the nerve impulses that contract your muscles. The result is a more relaxed and softer appearance with noticeably fewer wrinkles. Patients often look younger, rested and more vibrant. Botox can also be an effective way to prevent migraines. Treatment is often used to dull future symptoms of these painful headaches, and patients who suffer from chronic migraines report positive outcomes. We use very small insulin needles. While you will be able to feel the injection, it is not painful. It is commonly compared to a “pinch”.

What are dermal fillers?

As you age, your cheeks lose volume, the skin starts to sag, and lines develop, making you look older than you are. But we are pleased to offer dermal fillers at our office that dramatically rejuvenate your appearance.

Dermal fillers correct age-related volume loss by rehydrating and plumping up the cheek area of your face, especially nasolabial folds, most commonly referred to as “marionette lines.” These are the lines that run straight down from the corners of the mouth and add years to your appearance.

Dermal fillers placed at our office make it possible for us to provide you with a more youthful look without the need for costly and invasive procedures. Injection of dermal fillers is comfortable, only takes about 30 minutes, and there are no known risks. It takes about two weeks to see results, but you will be able to enjoy your youthful appearance for as long as a year!
We would love to help you rejuvenate your smile so you feel better about the way you look! Please call our office if you would you like to arrange a convenient consultation to discuss your needs.

When will my child need braces?

The American Association of Orthodontics recommends that a child be seen at 7 years of age to evaluate orthodontic needs and requirements. The doctors at Mirage Dental will monitor the growth of your child at every visit and update you on your child’s orthodontic needs. Often, a child that will need future braces will show signs as early as 2-3 years of age. Early orthodontic treatment may be necessary with certain habits such as thumb sucking. Children that need braces will be examined and treated by our Board Certified Orthodontist, Dr. Chung.

What is a Root Canal, and do they hurt?

ROOT CANAL is a lay persons’ term for endodontic therapy or root canal therapy. Root canal therapy is necessary when the pulp (aka “nerve”) inside the tooth becomes irreversibly damaged, inflamed or infected. This irreversible damage is a result of combined injuries that occur over the life of the tooth (decay, trauma, multiple restorations). Root canal therapy is the removal of the entire pulp throughout the root canal system, the cleaning and shaping of the canal system, and filling the canals with a synthetic root canal filling and a dental sealer.

With modern techniques and varied local anesthetic solutions it is rare to have any sensation in the tooth during treatment. For the first few days after treatment, it is normal for your tooth to be sensitive to biting. This discomfort can usually be relieved with over-the-counter or prescription medications in order to control normal post-treatment discomfort.

In most cases the discomfort will subside dramatically within the first 24-48 hours. Any sensitivity to cold, hot or even breathing air “in” will be gone after your visit. Nevertheless, you may experience mild discomfort to pressure that could last for several days after treatment. Taking over-the-counter anti-inflammatory analgesics usually relieves this discomfort.

The most common complaint is tenderness to touch, bite, tapping or chewing on the tooth. It is always best to chew on the other side until a permanent restoration replaces the temporary restoration.

How can I make my teeth whiter?

There are several teeth whitening methods to give you a brighter, whiter smile. Custom made teeth whitening trays are made in the dental office and taken home where a bleaching gel is delivered directly to the tooth surface via the trays. In-office teeth whitening or Zoom Bleaching is another effective way to whiten severely stained teeth. The procedure is performed in the dental office where a concentrated bleaching gel is placed on your teeth by your dentist and activated by a light source.

Is fluoride bad for you?

American Dental Association Response: More than 70 years of scientific research has consistently shown that an optimal level of fluoride in community water is safe and effective in preventing tooth decay by at least 25% in both children and adults. Simply by drinking water, Americans can benefit from fluoride’s cavity protection whether they are at home, work or school. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention named community water fluoridation one of 10 great public health achievements of the 20th century.

How long does the dental implant process take?

Total treatment time for most implant cases is typically 5-8 months, possibly longer if additional bone or gum procedures are needed. The implant procedure is typically divided into three phases:

After a detailed evaluation and treatment plan, placement of the implant occurs. This procedure is typically completed during a single visit to the doctor’s office and will remain covered, underneath the gums, for 4 to 6 months.

The second phase of treatment is typically 4-6 months after implant placement. To begin this phase, the top of the implant is uncovered and a small metal post will be attached to the implant. An impression is made and sent to a dental laboratory for crown fabrication.

In the third phase, which normally is 2-6 weeks after the second phase, your new replacement tooth will be created, fitted, and placed onto the implant.