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Two weeks ago I had a filling done and it is still sensitive and a slightly painful if I eat or drink. Why is that?

  It is possible that the new “white” filling has caused a little sensitivity.  This can be due to the shrinkage of the filling material while it hardens.  It can happen that the shrinkage causes extra tension and pressure on the tooth or nerve,  This sensitivity can last a few weeks but should slowly go away. Sensitivity can also be due to the fact that the dentist had to drill a deep hole, close to the nerve, in order to remove decay. This can also cause sensitivity for quite some time after the treatment, but should lessen with time. Another cause of sensitivity can be that the filling is a little too high and this causes extra pressure on the jaw. The best thing is to let the dentist check this – it is easily handled. Amalgam fillings can also cause a crack in the tooth that only comes to light after the cavity has been re-filled with composite filling material. If the sensitivity does not lessen after a month then it is time to call us.  (020-6102883).  

Why am I being charged more for some fillings than others?

A tooth is made up of several surfaces, somewhat like  dice,  that have several surfaces. The top of the tooth also has several small surfaces. Cavities can occur on more than one surface of the tooth and require separate drilling and filling. If there have been several cavities filled on different surfaces of one tooth you will see this in your bill.  You will see for example a two-surfaced filling or three surfaced filling. (tweevlaks of drievlaks restauratie).

At my last dentist my check-ups lasted 5 or 10 minutes why are they sometimes longer at your practice?

We usually reserve between 15 and 45 minutes for a check-up depending on the condition of your teeth.  In this time you will receive a check-up,  professional cleaning if needed, (usually there is some tartar build-up), and any needed hygiene instructions.  We believe strongly that prevention is better than cure. (you can read more about this on our preventative dentistry page).  During the check up your teeth and gums will be examined.  In this way you only need to come one time and not get separate appointments for cleaning and a check-up.

How often do you take x-rays?

We are very aware of the dangers of radiation from x-rays. Thus we try to keep the number of x-rays taken to a minimum. X-rays are taken if the dentist considers it is necessary – for example if you haven’t been to the dentist for a very long time. Sometimes x-rays have to be taken more frequently if, for example you have pain or if the dentist isn’t 100% certain what is going on. Certain procedures such a root-canal treatments require x-rays to ensure a good result. It is possible to see a lot with the naked eye but not everything. Hidden cavities, jaw infections, decay of the bone can only be discovered by an x-ray. In this way we can often treat a problem in its early stages, before it is too late.

I have always had bad teeth and each time I go to the dentist they find another cavity. How can I stop this decay, as I am afraid that eventually I will loose my teeth?

If your teeth continue to deteriorate then there is something wrong.  In most cases the cause is a combination of predisposition, inadequate dental hygiene and diet. Together with you we would like to figure out the reasons and make a plan so that you can keep your teeth your whole life.

When I brush my teeth my gums bleed, is that normal?

No that is not normal.  But it is fairly common.  Bleeding gums means your gums are infected.  Healthy gums don’t bleed! Discuss this problem with your dentist or with your hygienist and they can help you with it.

What is a root canal treatment?

During a root canal treatment the nerve is removed from the tooth.  The dentist removes the pulp from the tooth and then cleans it out with anti-bacterial liquid and then refills the canal with a small rubber stick and then fills the tooth with normal filling material.  A root canal treatment (also called endodontic treatment), is done when the tooth decay has reached the nerve or the nerve has been damaged.

Which should I use floss or dental toothpicks?

Both methods are good, as long as they are used daily.  Many people find flossing difficult,  then it is better to use tooth picks. Cleaning between the teeth needs to be done daily. You eat daily so food remains between the teeth daily and this cannot be removed entirely by brushing.  Nowadays you can also buy soft dental picks, these are also very effective.