Many people have questions about their dental care.  Drs. Jerard Wilson, Kelly Wilson, and Kevin Yee have provided this page of answers to common dental questions.  If you have further questions, and to schedule your appointment with our dentists at Rocklin Dental, please call us at 916-663-5555.  We will be happy to answer your questions and provide you with information about dental care in Rocklin, California, and surrounding areas.

Which type of toothbrush should I use?

The brand of your toothbrush is not as important as the type of bristle and the size of the head.  You should use a soft toothbrush with a small head when brushing your teeth.  Small heads allow you to brush each tooth more effectively, and are less likely to injure your gums.  Medium and hard toothbrushes tend to cause irritation, and contribute to gum recession.  We recommend that you brush at least twice each day and visit your dentist twice a year for regular dental cleanings and exams.

Is one type of toothpaste better than others?

No.  However, we recommend that you use a toothpaste containing fluoride to decrease the likelihood of developing tooth decay.

How often should I floss?

You should floss daily.  This will prevent plaque from accumulating on and between your teeth, prevent cavities from developing between your teeth, and keep your gums healthy.

What is the difference between a “crown” and a “cap”? 

Crowns and caps are two different names for the same treatment.  Our dentists will refer to all restorations of this type as “crowns,” regardless of what material your crown is made of.  However, patients frequently refer to restorations made of tooth-colored material as “caps” and restorations made of gold or stainless steel as “crowns.”

What is the difference between a bridge and a partial denture?

Both dental bridges and partial dentures are used to replace missing teeth.  Bridges are permanently attached to abutment teeth or to implants, while partial dentures are attached to the teeth by clasps and can be easily removed by the patient.  We have found that dental bridges are usually more satisfying to the patient that partial dentures.

What about silver fillings versus white fillings?

Although silver (amalgam) fillings are safe for use, many patients request white (composite) dental fillings due to the more natural appearance they provide.  Our dentists prefer composite fillings, as they bond more easily to the tooth structure and help strengthen teeth weakened by decay.  Tooth-colored fillings are also less sensitive to temperature.  Unfortunately, composite fillings cannot be used in every situation, and amalgam fillings may be the better option.  In the event of a severely broken or decayed tooth, we will provide a dental crown rather than a filling.

Do I need to have a root canal just because I have to get a dental crown?

No.  Root canals are performed when infection or damage affects the nerves of the tooth.  Most teeth that receive root canals also require a dental crown, but not every tooth requiring a crown will need a root canal treatment.

Are X-rays safe?

Dental X-rays are extremely safe.  The amount of radiation you are exposed to when we take X-rays is very small – equal to or less than the total amount of radiation you encounter in your day-to-day life, in fact.  Advances in dentistry have led to increasing lower amounts of radiation, making X-rays safer and safer as technology progresses.  Additionally, federal law requires that X-ray machines be checked for safety and accuracy every 2 years, ensuring that you are never exposed to unsafe and unhealthy elements.

Why do I need to visit the dentist regularly?

Regular visits with our dentists and team help you avoid developing dental problems.  Most routine checkups are all about preventive care – ensuring that your mouth is clean and healthy and that there are no developing dental problems.  Regular dental appointments also allow us to monitor your oral health, and quickly provide treatments when a problem does develop.

What is periodontal disease?

Periodontal disease, also known as gum disease, is a condition where infection and inflammation occur in your gum tissue.  It is caused by an accumulation of harmful bacteria in your mouth, and if untreated will eventually cause gum recession, deterioration of your bone tissue, and tooth loss.  Periodontal disease can be prevented through good oral hygiene and regular dental appointments.  Our dentists can also provide you with treatments to help halt the disease and restore your oral health.

What causes bad breath?

Bad breath or halitosis, can be caused by many things. The most common cause is the presence of bacteria in your mouth and on your tongue. These bacteria produce odorous compounds. In some cases, bad breath can be the result of gastrointestinal problems, an illness, or the use of medications.  Our dentist can provide treatments to help you deal with your halitosis.