Many of our patients have questions about their treatments.  Dr. Jeffrey C. Hambleton has provided some answers on this page to the most commonly asked questions.  If you have further questions about periodontics, implant dentistry, or our other services, please feel free to contact Lawrence Periodontics, LLC at 785-312-3820.  We will be happy to provide you with additional information or help you schedule your appointment with our experienced periodontist in Lawrence, Kansas.

What should I do if I have bad breath?
Bad breath (halitosis) may be caused by a variety of factors, including:

  • Morning time
  • Certain foods
  • Poor oral hygiene
  • Gum disease
  • Cavities
  • Poorly fitted appliances
  • Dry mouth
  • Tobacco products
  • Dieting
  • Dehydration, hunger, or missed meals
  • Certain medical conditions or illnesses

You can prevent bad hygiene by practicing good oral hygiene, visiting the dentist regularly, drinking water often, using mouth rinses, and stopping smoking or chewing tobacco.  If none of these suggestions work to eliminate your bad breath, we recommend that you consult a physician to determine the cause of the odor and receive an appropriate treatment.

How often should I brush and floss?
You should brush at least twice each day, or after each meal.  It is especially important to brush before going to bed.  Use an ADA-approved toothpaste and soft-bristled toothbrush.  You should floss daily.  We also recommend that you also use a mouth rinse.  Please consult our dental professionals for recommendations on appropriate rinses.

Are silver fillings safe?
Yes.  The American Dental Association, Center for Disease Control, World Health Organization, FDA, and others have found that amalgam (silver) fillings are safe for use, and that there is no health risk associated with this filling material.

How often should I have a dental exam and cleaning?
You should visit the dentist for a dental cleaning and exam every 6 months.  Your dentist and hygienist may recommend a more frequent schedule of visits if needed.

How can I tell if I have gum disease?
Gum disease is often painless in the early stages of development.  We recommend that you keep your regular schedule of visits to the dentist, so that you can be checked for any signs of this condition.

Symptoms of gum disease include:

  • Red and swollen gums
  • Gums that bleed easily
  • Persistent bad breath
  • New spacing or gaps between the teeth
  • Loose teeth
  • Pus around the teeth and gums
  • Receding gums
  • Tenderness or discomfort

You can reduce your risk of developing periodontal disease by practicing good oral hygiene, visiting the dentist regularly, and maintaining a balanced diet.

Why is flossing important?
Flossing removes plaque, food particles, and bacteria from in between the teeth and below the gum line.  You cannot reach these areas with a toothbrush, making flossing a critical part of keeping your mouth healthy and avoiding problems such as cavities, gum disease, and other damage to your teeth, gums, and bone.

How can cosmetic dentistry help improve the appearance of my smile?
Cosmetic procedures are designed to improve the appearance of your teeth and enhance the beauty of your smile.  Advances in dentistry have made it possible for you to enjoy a healthier, more attractive smile without as much effort.  Cosmetic dentistry includes preventive care as well as restorative dentistry.

Common cosmetic treatments include:

  • Teeth whitening
  • Composite (tooth-colored) dental fillings
  • Porcelain dental veneers
  • Porcelain dental crowns
  • Dental implants
  • Orthodontics

What are porcelain veneers and how can they improve my smile?
Porcelain dental veneers are thin, tooth-colored shells.  Each veneer is individually created to cover the front of your teeth and provide you with a long-lasting, beautiful solution to enhance your smile.  Veneers may be recommended if you have:

  • Severely stained or discolored teeth
  • Uneven spaces or gaps between the teeth
  • Worn or chipped teeth
  • Slight tooth crowding
  • Misshapen teeth
  • Teeth that are too large or too small

Veneers typically require two visits to the dentist.

What can I do about stained or discolored teeth?
The most effective treatment for stained or discolored teeth is usually teeth whitening.  There are several types of whitening available, both in the dental office as well as over-the-counter, to provide a quick and effective improvement to smile.

We recommend that you seek whitening treatments from a dental office, as they will be professional-quality and produce better results.  The most widely-used types of teeth whitening are in-office whitening (performed in one quick visit to your dentist), and take-home whitening (which involves the use of a custom-made tray and bleaching gel in the comfort of your own home).