Frequently Asked Dental Questions

We understand that taking in all of your treatment information during your consultation can be difficult. For this reason we have developed this FAQ section of our website. Containing the answers to the most commonly asked questions we hear from patients, our Q & A’s are updated on a regular basis and cover all areas of dental treatment.

Q: How do you know if you are at the right Family Dentist?

A:  It’s really pretty simple. If it feels right it probably is right. Your dentist needs to be competent and capable to provide you with the procedures needed to restore your teeth. Your dentist should be able to clearly explain the procedures he can do to help you in terms you will understand. You should feel like you can talk to your dentist about any of your concerns regarding your dental appointment. Always research a dentist’s credentials and do research online before making an appointment with a new dentist. He needs a staff and office that are a reflection of himself. It is important to know the dentist you are looking at going to is constantly looking to improve both themselves and their offices. Dental practices that incorporate the latest techniques and top of the line equipment tend to be more aware of the changing needs for patients.

My staff and I strive to make sure our patients are well educated in their dental needs. Our Madison Family Dentistry practice strives to meet the unique needs of each member of your family. We work hard to make sure our patients know we care about them. Finding a dentist you connect with is not purely about teeth; rather it involves a comfort level and trust that develops over time. At our practice we believe in the importance of working together as a team to provide optimal oral health for you and your loved ones. Our patients’ needs and concerns come first to ensure a bond of trust can be created.

Q: Is Sedation Dentistry Safe?

A:  Absolutely, there are several options available for safe Sedation Dentistry . A dentist will evaluate your level of dental anxiety . Then they will evaluate your overall health to recommend the proper safe sedation treatment. What most patient’s don’t realize is that there are several options for sedation dentistry:

  • Nitrous Oxide or “laughing gas”: This option allows you to drive to and from your visit and is great for taking the edge off. It also works great for those with a strong gag reflex.
  • Oral Sedation: one small pill an hour before your appointment.
  • IV sedation: allow us to treat patients with moderate to severe anxiety.
  • Deep Sedation delivered by an anesthesiologist, for the most fearful and those with underlying medical issuses.

Not all physicians are certified to do IV sedation. Dr. Sam Romano, DMD, MAGD has the proper certifications to perform multiple forms of sedation dentistry. His dedicated staff always put your safety first. Your safety and comfort are paramount in our office. The Madison NJ location offers state-of-the-art equipment to monitor you during your visit.
Contact us to set up an appointment to see if sedation dentistry is right for you or your family members.

Q: Why aren’t you in network for my dental insurance plan?

A:  We are in network for Delta Dental Premier. When it comes to insurance it all comes down to, what do you pay and what do you get. Participating with most dental plans makes us an employee of the insurance company. I make my decisions based on what is the best dentistry for your personal situation not what the insurance company will allow me to do. In this economy, now more than ever, we are fighting the battle against what is the right thing to do and what insurance is going to pay. Before we do any treatment we will always have an open and frank discussion about fees and insurance.

Q: What are wisdom teeth?

A: They’re the last teeth to erupt in the back of your mouth. Usually, they erupt between the ages of 17 and 25. Occasionally, though, they find their way our much later than that; some never erupt at all. Most of our jaws only have room for 28 teeth; we have 32. This means that the last teeth to erupt, which are the wisdom teeth, have nowhere to go if there’s not enough room remaining. This is why extraction is often the course of action.

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Q: What’s the best way to prevent gum disease?

A:  Thorough removal of plaque by flossing, brushing and regular professional cleanings will minimize your risk of gum disease. However, there are other factors that can affect the health of your gums, such as stress, diabetes, genetics and pregnancy.

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Q: What happens if I just ignore getting my teeth cleaned?

A: As the plaque and calculus accumulate, the periodontal disease continues. Supporting tissues around the teeth (gums, periodontal ligaments, bone) are lost. Periodontal pockets form which trap additional plaque. Bad breath often accompanies this condition. Once the bone that supports the teeth is lost, it will not re-grow without surgical intervention.

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Q: While biting hard food I broke one of my teeth. What should I do?

A: If you are not in any pain then ring your dentist as soon as possible and make an appointment, but try and keep the tooth as clean as possible and avoid biting hard on that tooth. If you have pain, then you will need to go to your dentist immediately as an emergency.

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Q: My tooth was knocked out, how soon should I see a dentist?

A: Immediately. Getting to a dentist within 30 minutes can make the difference between saving and losing a tooth.:

  • Immediately call us for an emergency appointment.
  • Handle the tooth by the crown, not the root. Touching the root (the part of the tooth below the gum) can damage cells necessary for bone reattachment.
  • Gently rinse the tooth in water to remove dirt. Do not scrub.
  • Place the clean tooth in your mouth between the cheek and the gum to keep it moist.
  • It is important not to let the tooth dry out.
  • If it is not possible to store the tooth in the mouth of the injured person, wrap the tooth in a clean cloth or gauze and immerse in milk.

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Q: What can gum disease mean for a diabetic?

A: Gingivitis is an infection within the gums caused by bacteria found in plaque. A diabetic’s body doesn’t respond as quickly to infection treatment as a non-diabetic. If the infection persists, it can spread to the underlying bone that supports and anchors the teeth.

It has been shown that diabetics who keep their condition under control and maintain good oral hygiene have a far better chance of combating infections than those who are poorly controlled.

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Q: Why do I need X-Rays?

A: Radiographic or X-ray examinations provide your dentist with an important diagnostic tool that shows the condition of your teeth, their roots, jaw placement and the overall composition of your facial bones.

X-Ray can help your dentist determine the presence or degree of periodontal disease, abscesses and many abnormal growths, such as cysts and tumors. X-rays can also show the exact location of impacted teeth. They can pinpoint the location of cavities and other signs of disease that may not be possible to detect through visual examination (such as changes in the jaw bone structure as a result of systemic disease).

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Q: When should my child first see a dentist?

A: The ideal time for your child to meet the dentist is six months after their first (primary) teeth erupt.

This gives your dentist a perfect opportunity to carefully examine the development of their mouth and catch problems such as baby bottle tooth decay, teething irritations and prolonged thumb-sucking early.

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Q: I brush my teeth constantly but still have bad breath. What can I do?

A: Brushing and flossing are definitely the first steps to eliminating bad breath. Brushing and flossing remove bacteria responsible for creating odorous sulfur compounds and the food they feed on. However, bacteria hide not only on and around the teeth but also on the tongue under a layer of mucous. Here they are free to create odors. You might want to consider a tongue scraper. They’re extremely effective at removing this protective mucous layer from the back of the tongue.

The latest products on the market for bad breath are toothpastes and mouthwashes containing chlorine dioxide. The chlorine dioxide neutralizes the odorous sulfur compounds instead of simply covering up the odor.

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Q: How can dentistry be pain free?

A: Dr. Sam Romano, DMD, MAGD and his team know how important your dental treatment is and we want to ensure your visit is as relaxed as possible. When you make your next appointment please ask about our Sedation Dentistry options.

Many of our patients prefer to have something to help them feel at ease. We use nitrous oxide and other sedation options available.

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Q: What is Cosmetic Dentistry?

A: Everyone desires a beautiful, healthy smile and Dr. Sam Romano, DMD, MAGD and his team can help you achieve this dream. Through our leading Cosmetic Dentistry treatments, we can significantly enhance the appearance of your teeth and increase your general well-being.

Cosmetic Dentistry techniques are designed to completely transform the appearance of your smile and will provide your teeth with a new lease of life; rejuvenating your smile both aesthetically and functionally. Each Cosmetic Dentistry treatment is specifically designed to improve the beautiful essence of your smile while increasing your dental health.

Some of our Cosmetic Dental Services include:

We aspire to create beautiful, natural smiles for all of our patients. If you haven’t visited us before, we recommend you contact us for a consultation to find out how we can help you.

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Q: Do you deserve a healthy smile?

A: We are all so busy working hard, looking after our families and trying to have a break or holiday that we forget to look after ourselves. We know that we must look after our teeth and most of us are brushing morning and night and maybe flossing occasionally. We then start to believe that we know what is happening inside our mouths.

Unfortunately the only time we do know what is happening in our mouths is when we are in pain or discomfort. This then means you have an emergency situation which can involve more discomfort and often more expense.

Make sure you do visit us every 6 months at the minimum to prevent any painful emergencies. Every patient we see after a dental emergency decides that now is the time to make the change and look after their teeth. They then come every 6 months for a Preventive Care Appointment where the hygienist professionally cleans your teeth and the dentist examines your teeth. We also love to see how you are.

Preventive Dentistry is the best dentistry you can give yourself. If you haven’t visited us before, we thoroughly recommend you contact us for a consultation to find out how we can help you.

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Q: Why are patients choosing CEREC?

A: CEREC tooth restoration isn’t just convenient, it is also healthy . Many years ago, dentists had few options to repair decayed and damaged teeth other than amalgam, gold, and other metals.

With CEREC, your dentist can use strong, tooth colored ceramic materials to restore your teeth to their natural strength, beauty, and function. These materials closely match the composition of natural tooth structure.

This means when you eat hot food and then drink something cold, the restoration and tooth expand and contract at almost equal rates. So your tooth does not crack, and you can go on enjoying your evening.

Also, the materials are chemically bonded to your tooth, so your dentist can save as much healthy tooth tissue as possible while providing you with a dental restoration that strengthens your tooth.

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Q: What are veneers?

A: Dental veneers are custom-designed shells of tooth-like ceramic material that, when applied over the surface of a tooth, can cover worn tooth enamel, uneven tooth alignment, or spacing chips or cracks.

Dental veneers fall into the category of cosmetic dentistry because they create a bright, white smile with beautifully aligned, shapely teeth. Even better, the translucent ceramic quality of today’s veneers provides a more natural look than what’s been available in the past. In addition to being aesthetically pleasing, dental veneers can also serve a functional purpose by protecting the surface of a damaged tooth; in some cases, veneers may replace the need for a dental crown, eliminating the need for more invasive tooth preparation.

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Q: What sort of food is good for my teeth?

A: The type of food you eat is important in keeping teeth and gums healthy. Certain foods with sugars and starches can lead to tooth decay. Eating vegetables may be a healthy choice since they help in removing some deposits from the teeth.

Soft and sticky foods should be avoided because they attach and get between the teeth providing a great place for bacteria to grow. Low fat choices like raw vegetables, fresh fruits, or whole grain breads are also good choices.

Eating the right foods can help prevent tooth decay and other diseases will also help. Regular brushing and flossing and your six monthly preventive care appointment.

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Q: Should I fix my chipped and stained teeth?

A:  We see people every day who are embarrassed by their teeth. Isn’t it time to stop being embarrassed by your teeth? Half of all people surveyed say they’d love to have a better, more attractive smile.

They’d like to have:

  • Brighter, whiter teeth with no stains or discoloration
  • Straighter teeth with no gaps and no crowding
  • Teeth that aren’t too big or too small
  • Healthy looking teeth with no chips or cracks

In other words they’d like the brilliant healthy smile they’ve dreamed of. This can be achieved in an amazingly short time.

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Q: How do I best look after my teeth at home?

A: In between your six monthly preventive care appointment to have your teeth professionally cleaned and checked, you must clean your teeth properly.

Brush your teeth and floss them morning and night after meals. If you have bad breath an antiseptic mouthwash is useful to reduce bacteria when needed. Carry some floss with you to keep a check on your teeth during the day. There is nothing worse than talking to someone who has food stuck in their teeth from lunch.

Brushing at lunchtime is not always convenient but if you get the opportunity it will make your mouth feel so much fresher. Everyone loves to see bright shiny teeth and you will feel so much more confident during the day. The benefits of good home cleaning means less plaque build up to remove at your next hygiene appointment.

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Q: How can I help my children look after their teeth?

A: Try to limit how much sugary food your children are eating. To ensure brushing your teeth well use an electric toothbrush. Studies have concluded that the oscillating rotating power toothbrush technology pioneered by Oral-B, is shown to be superior to manual toothbrushes.

The review stated, “Brushes that worked with a rotation oscillation action removed more plaque and reduced gingivitis more effectively than manual brushes in the short and long-term”

As well as having them regular brush please bring the kids in for a regular Preventive Care appointment with the hygienist so he/she can remove the plaque that builds up on the teeth, which can’t be removed with ordinary brushing. This combination of correct brushing, eating good healthy food and regular cleaning at the dentist will give your children the teeth they will want as adults.

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Q: I have a number of black fillings, what can I have done to improve this?

A: The black filling material used in your teeth is amalgam. It has been used as a filling material for over a hundred years; it’s still one of the strongest materials available.

However, it’s about as unattractive a filling material as you can get. There are a number of other tooth-colored restorative materials currently available that can be used to replace old amalgams.

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Q: Can I have my teeth straightened without having to wear braces?

A: Wearing braces is always a great way to straighten teeth but there are other options available.

Dental Veneers: One of the easiest ways to treat teeth that are too small or too big or have uneven surfaces is by placing a veneer over tooth. Porcelain veneers are placed over the front of each the teeth to create a lovely even color and shape and give you the straight smile you have always wanted and deserve.

Dental Bonding: By using resin bonding we can restore chipped or broken teeth, fill in gaps and reshape or recolor your smile.

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Q: What happens if I just ignore getting my teeth professionally cleaned?

A: As the plaque and calculus accumulate, periodontal disease continues, supporting tissues around the teeth (gums, periodontal ligaments, and bone) are lost. Periodontal pockets form which trap additional plaque. Bad breath often accompanies this condition. Once the bone that supports the teeth is lost, it will not re-grow without surgical intervention.

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Q: What is periodontal disease?

A: Periodontal disease is caused by the bacteria found in plaque. If plaque is not regularly removed, it calcifies into a rough, porous deposit called calculus, or tartar. By products of bacterial metabolism irritate the gums, making them red, tender, swollen and more prone to bleed.

Eventually, the supporting periodontal structures begin to breakdown. The result of this slow process is tissue loss, bone loss and eventual tooth loss. If you believe you may have periodontal disease we recommend you have an examination as soon as possible.

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Q: What does periodontal treatment involve?

A: In the earlier states of gum disease (mild to moderate periodontitis), most treatment involves scaling and root planning. The procedure aims at removing plaque and calculus from the surface of the tooth adjacent to gum tissue.

The periodontal pockets around the tooth are cleaned and all root surfaces are smoothed. In the majority of early gum disease cases, treatment entails improved home care techniques, Arestin and scaling and root planning. Advanced cases may require surgical treatment.

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