We Always Take the Time to Answer Our Patients' Questions

Here are the most common questions our dental patients ask and our answers. Feel free to call us with any additional questions you may have, or ask them while you're here!

What occurs during a typical first visit?

During your first visit with us, we will take a complete medical history, X-Rays and photos and conduct a full exam of your teeth, gums and mouth, including an oral cancer exam. We also take blood pressure readings and, when warranted, blood sugar readings.

Do you accept dental insurance?

We accept many types of dental insurance. Call us to find out details.

Why do I need X-Rays of my teeth?

The only way to properly detect decay (cavities) in between teeth, under the gum tissue, under fillings and crowns, etc. is with X-Rays. Also, dental X-Rays can help us find other problems with the teeth and bones, including abscesses, infections, etc. that would not necessarily be painful or otherwise remain undiscovered.

Why do you put a lead blanket with the big collar on me when you take X-Rays?

Though we at Dr. Lisa Elias’ office use state-of-the-art digital X-Rays that emit the least amount of radiation possible, it is a precaution we take with all patients to protect them from any radiation. There are also lead sheets under the drywall between the rooms with X-Ray units to further protect our patients and staff.

Why do you take my blood pressure?

Many times patients are unaware they have elevated blood pressure. High blood pressure is an important sign or precursor to heart problems and strokes. We take a medical history and blood pressure to evaluate the total health of our patients in order to give them the best possible care.

Why do I have to come in twice a year for checkups and cleanings?

It is very important to have your teeth and gums examined and cleaned to remove bacteria, detect cavities and perform a mouth cancer screening. Many changes can occur in a short period of time, and you can catch many problems early and prevent others with frequent dental visits.

Why do you always recommend a “soft” or “ultra soft” toothbrush?

A soft or ultra soft toothbrush is perfect for removing food, plaque and bacteria on the teeth, gums and slightly under the gum line. It is soft enough to flex and get around the crevices of the teeth and gums. Unlike medium or stiffer toothbrushes, softer toothbrushes will not wear away precious enamel or irritate and traumatize gums, causing them to recede.

How long should I brush my teeth?

Brush your teeth at least two times a day for at least two minutes, especially at bedtime.

Why do I need to floss my teeth?

No matter how long or carefully you use a toothbrush, it cannot get in between the teeth like dental floss. Most cavities form between the teeth where a toothbrush cannot reach to remove food and bacteria. Also, make sure you use floss to scrape the sides of teeth to make sure they are clean and smooth.

Why do I need to scrape my tongue?

The tongue can attract and hold bacteria, stains and odors that contribute to bad breath. Scraping or brushing the tongue is the only sure-fire way to remove this.

Why is soda pop bad for my teeth?

The high sugar content of regular pop, along with its acidic nature, is a one-two punch for teeth. The acid softens the teeth, and the sugar feeds the bacteria that attack the teeth. Plain water and sugar-free drinks are much better options.

Is tooth whitening harmful to a patient’s tooth enamel?

There is no permanent damage caused to the enamel or any other tooth structures by tooth whitening.

Does tooth whitening cause permanent tooth sensitivity?

Sensitivity from tooth whitening is usually transient, going away within one to two days after the cessation of bleaching. The patient soon returns to their former level of tooth sensitivity before having started the tooth whitening process.

Why does Dr. Lisa Elias not recommend rinsing with peroxide?

We do not recommend peroxide rinses because recent studies have shown that liquid peroxide will actually slow the healing of wounds. It is recommended that patients use warm salt water rinses, approved over-the-counter mouth rinses or prescription mouth rinses to maintain or restore oral health.

Does the fact that I smoke affect my ability to get dental implants?

Though dental implants are not completely contraindicated, the nicotine and irritants from smoking significantly increase the likelihood of implant failure and contribute to periodontal disease and a host of other medical problems.

At what age should I bring my children in for their first dental visit?

Age 2 is a good time to acclimate them to the office, have their baby teeth evaluated and reinforce oral care and proper brushing.

Why do I need to have my children’s cavities filled if they are going to lose those teeth eventually anyway?

The baby teeth are essential to holding the places for the adult teeth until they are ready to come in. Premature loss can result in crowding in the adult teeth. Also, cavities left unfilled can progress to the nerve of the tooth and cause infections and abscesses.

Why does Dr. Elias always ask me questions when she knows it is hard to talk with instruments in my mouth?

Haha! She likes to multitask and ask questions while she works.