Dear John, “Thank you for taking so much time with me. You listened when no one else would. You are a brilliant doctor, but also a good friend. I am grateful to have a doctor that truly cares about his patients. Thanks again for the kindness you show me every time I see you. You are one of a kind. “
Q: I really don't like visiting the dentist. Is there anything you can do to help me relax?
A: Many people are uncomfortable with visiting the dentist. Your comfort is our highest priority, and our office is designed so that you can enjoy a relaxing dental visit. We also offer oral sedation options to keep you comfortable and relaxed.
Q: I brush every day, but my breath just is not fresh. Is there anything I can do?
A: Millions of people struggle with halitosis, or bad breath, despite daily teeth brushing. For best results at home, twice daily brushing, daily flossing and tongue cleaning are essential, as are regular professional cleanings and careful cleaning of any dentures or removable dental appliances. However, if your hygiene is meticulous and the problem persists, we can offer several solutions. First, we can provide a plastic tool called a tongue scraper that cleans away bacterial build-up on your tongue and significantly alleviates odor. We can also recommend a specially prepared rinse or toothpaste designed to break the odor-causing sulfur bonds behind bad breath. Finally, we may suspect a systemic or internal problem such as an infection or underlying condition, in which case we may recommend a visit with your family physician or specialist to identify the cause.
Q: What is a crown, and why do I need one?
A: If your dentist has recommended a crown, it’s likely either to correct a broken tooth or to repair a tooth that has deteriorated due to cavities (decay). The decay in your tooth eats away healthy tooth structure, much like rust eats away at metal. If not removed, decay will deteriorate the tooth to the point where extraction is the only viable treatment option. Sometimes, decay is removed leaving healthy tooth structure behind, but not much of it. A crown covers the remaining tooth enamel and works to restore the look and function of your tooth while allowing you to keep your natural, underlying tooth structure. Most crowns are precision-milled porcelain or full metal (gold or silver) and are individually customized for each application in each patient, giving you a natural, long-lasting smile.
Q: I know I need X-Rays, but I’d prefer to not be exposed to unnecessary radiation. Do you offer digital X-Rays?
A: Yes, we do offer digital X-Rays. Digital X-Rays use less radiation and are safer for you than traditional film X-Rays. You’ll find that in our dental practice, we research the latest trends in technology to find the solutions that promote your overall health, safety and comfort.
Q: How does fluoride help my teeth?
A: Research shows that fluoride reduces cavities in both children and adults by halting tooth decay. It also helps repair the early stages of tooth decay even before the decay becomes visible. Interestingly, many people are misinformed about fluoride and fluoridation. Fluoride is a safe chemical component when used correctly. The fluoride that your dentist applies to your teeth—usually in the form of a varnish, gel or foam—is more concentrated than the fluoride contained in toothpaste or mouthwash. The ADA recommends the use of any of the professional-strength, fluoride varnishes, gels or foam products carrying the ADA Seal of Acceptance.
Q: I just want my smile to look good. What are some options to help the appearance of my smile?
A: You’re not alone. Most people want to have a nice smile because it’s the first thing others notice about you. You may be interested in a few minor adjustments or may have concerns that need greater attention. Some smiles can be enhanced with simple whitening or bonding treatments. Other smiles need porcelain veneers, crowns or bridges, gum contouring, periodontal therapy or a combination of all these techniques. Your dentist will suggest a treatment plan for you based on your goals, areas of concern and the overall condition of your oral health. Contact us for a complimentary smile evaluation to determine what course of action will produce the best solution for you.
Q: How can losing a back tooth affect my smile?
A: Losing a back tooth can darken your overall smile, making it look smaller and narrower. Your smile will appear to stop short, and the look will be exaggerated if your missing tooth has teeth on both sides of it. Function during chewing will be reduced, and the function of many teeth can be affected by the loss of just one tooth. When you’re missing a tooth, you compensate by chewing differently, putting pressure on different parts of your mouth. This can cause your other teeth to shift, creating gaps and spaces, and may even cause fractures that result in additional tooth loss or the need for restorations.
Q: What can I expect from my first appointment?
A: During your first appointment, your overall dental and oral health will be assessed with a comprehensive oral evaluation. Upon completion of your medical/dental health form, we’ll ask you to tell us your goals regarding your smile, teeth and gums. Digital photos and X-Rays will be taken of your teeth to identify areas of decay, cracked teeth or any malfunctioning restorations. Our goal is to preserve as much of your teeth as possible by catching decay in its earliest stages. We’ll also assess your gums and recommend the appropriate hygiene treatment for you.
Q: Do you accept new patient referrals?
A: Over the years patients have given us the compliment of referring family and friends to our practice. Our reputation for excellent dental care depends on two things: our good work and your beautiful smile. Your confidence in our care motivates us to continue to strive for excellence. Thank you for your referrals. Your trust and support are greatly appreciated.
Q: My teeth keep chipping and cracking, but I can't figure out why. What's causing this? What can I do about it?
A: Many people who notice mysteriously chipped or cracked teeth have sustained the damage while sleeping. Unconsciously grinding or clenching your teeth at night can eventually cause teeth to chip, crack and even break. To protect your teeth from serious damage, we recommend a dental appliance called a night guard. This soft, specially-fitted guard slips over teeth to create a protective barrier and discourage nighttime clenching or grinding. If you suffer from tension headaches, you may also find that a side benefit of your night guard is headache prevention. Many headaches start during the night, caused by the extreme pressure generated as you grind and clench your teeth. Ask our team about having a night guard custom created for you.
Q: What different payment options do you provide?
A: Helping to make your dental care financially comfortable and affordable is important, and we proudly offer a variety of options to suit your needs. o Cash or personal checks o VISA o 5% cash courtesy for advance payment of entire treatment plan o We offer 3, 6, 12, or 18 month no-interest monthly payment plans, as well as low-interest and extended payment plans through CareCredit. We’re happy to estimate fees and insurance reimbursement before starting recommended treatments and will gladly file insurance forms for you. We practice optimal, comprehensive dentistry and do not base our treatment on what insurance will or will not pay. Courses of treatment are determined by what is best for you, and, unless other arrangements have been made, any treatment not paid by insurance is your financial responsibility at the time of treatment. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask! We love finding solutions that allow you to achieve your smile dreams.
Q: My gums bleed. Why is this?
A: Gums affected by periodontal disease become red and inflamed, often bleeding during brushing or flossing. Timely treatment can reverse these conditions. However, if these conditions are ignored, your periodontal disease can worsen, becoming a condition called periodontitis. Periodontitis is much more difficult to treat. A. Periodontitis affects your gums, bone and teeth in a manner that cannot be reversed. To prevent tooth loss, you may require more extensive, specialized treatment from your general dentist or even a periodontist. If left untreated, periodontitis results in tooth loss—teeth either fall out on their own or must be extracted. If not diagnosed and treated in its early stages, periodontitis may require extensive surgery to save your teeth and put yourself at risk for other serious health problems.
Q: How do sealants protect teeth?
A: A sealant is a plastic material usually applied to the chewing surfaces of the back teeth—premolars and molars. This plastic resin bonds into the depressions and grooves (pits and fissures) of the chewing surfaces of back teeth. The sealant acts as a barrier, protecting enamel from plaque and acids, and guarding against disease-causing bacteria. Thorough brushing and flossing help remove food particles and plaque from smooth surfaces of teeth. However, toothbrush bristles cannot reach all the way into the depressions and grooves to efficiently extract food and plaque. Sealants protect these vulnerable areas by “sealing out” plaque and food.
Q: Sometimes when I chew, I get a sharp pain. What can I do to correct this?
A: Most dental pain brought on by chewing is caused by a fracture, or crack, in the tooth. The pain can be corrected by placing an inlay/onlay, a porcelain crown, or with more advanced treatment. You want to correct the pain as soon as possible to prevent further damage to the tooth. Contact us today to schedule a visit.
Q: How can porcelain veneers help my smile?
A: Porcelain veneers improve your smile by correcting a multitude of cosmetic concerns including gaps in teeth; chipped or broken teeth; dull or yellowing teeth that cannot be whitened with traditional means; “gummy smile” (showing too much gum when one smiles); and crooked teeth. Porcelain veneers broaden, straighten, whiten and beautify most any smile. This procedure can be done in as little as two clinical visits. Many of our patients feel like this was the best improvement that could have been done for their overall confidence. Ask us about how porcelain veneers can improve your smile at your next visit, or send us an email.
Q: I want my teeth to be whiter. Do you recommend at-home or in-office whitening?
A: Dentist directed at-home whitening and in-office whitening procedures are both effective ways of brightening your smile. In either case, your dentist customizes the treatment to ensure your happiness with the results. Your home whitening kit involves a special tray that is customized to fit over your teeth. You also receive prescription whitening gel, which is inserted into the tray before you wear it. Dr. Landreneau 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.