FAQs

Below are some of the most frequently asked questions patients have about dentistry and oral health issues.  If you have any other questions, or would like to schedule an appointment, we would love to hear from you.

Click on a question below to see the answer.


Yes!  The Red Rock Dental Membership Program. This program is not insurance, but it is an affordable option to help lower your dental care expenses.  The program is simple.  For one yearly fee you get a set number of cleanings, exams and x-rays per year and a 10% discount on everything else.  No waiting periods, no claims, no non-covered services, no downgrades and no maximums!  We would be happy to discuss this program with you and will continue to provide the quality of care that you deserve.  

The answer is generally yes.   We are not a contracted provider with any insurance company but we will help to file your claims for you. Once a direct relationship with your insurance is established, we will estimate your responsibility based on what your plan should pay.  Any amount not covered by the insurance payment, regardless of the estimate, is your responsibility.
 

For patients who want to pay for a treatment plan in advance, we offer a 5% discount for cash prepayment in full.  This is for a treatment plan that has been agreed to by both the patient and the doctor, and regards only those procedures listed in the treatment plan. However, a better option is to join the Membership Program and save 10% instead.  Read more about membership above.  
 

You should have your teeth checked and cleaned at least twice a year, though your dentist or dental hygienist may recommend more frequent visits.

Regular dental exams and cleaning visits are essential in preventing dental problems and maintaining the health of your teeth and gums.  At these visits, your teeth are cleaned and checked for cavities.  Additionally, there are many other things that are checked and monitored to help detect, prevent, and maintain your dental health.  These include:

  • Medical history review: Knowing the status of any current medical conditions, new medications, and illnesses, gives us insight to your overall health and also your dental health.
  • Examination and updating of diagnostic x-rays (radiographs): Essential for detection of decay, tumors, cysts, and bone loss.  X-rays also help determine tooth and root positions.
  • Oral cancer examination: Check the face, neck, lips, tongue, throat, tissues, and gums for any signs of oral cancer.
  • Gum disease evaluation: Check the gums and bone around the teeth for any signs of periodontal disease.
  • Examination of tooth decay: All tooth surfaces will be checked for decay with special dental instruments.
  • Examination of existing restorations: Check current fillings, crowns, etc.
  • Removal of calculus (tartar): Calculus is hardened plaque that has been left on the tooth for sometime and is now firmly attached to the tooth surface.  Calculus forms above and below the gum line, and can only be removed with special dental instruments.
  • Removal of plaque: Plaque is a sticky, almost invisible film that forms on the teeth.  It is a growing colony of living bacteria, food debris, and saliva.  The bacteria produce toxins that inflame the gums.  This inflammation is the start of periodontal disease!
  • Teeth polishing: Removes stain and plaque that is not otherwise removed during toothbrushing and scaling.
  • Oral hygiene recommendations: Review techniques and recommend oral hygiene aids as needed (electric dental toothbrushes, special cleaning aids, fluorides, rinses, etc.).
  • Review dietary habits: Your eating habits play a very important role in your dental health.

As you can see, a good dental exam and cleaning involves quite a lot more than just checking for cavities and polishing your teeth.  We are committed to providing you with the best possible care, and to do so will require regular check-ups and cleanings.


Since teeth whitening has now become the number one aesthetic concern of many patients, there are many products and methods available to achieve a brighter smile.

Professional teeth whitening (or bleaching) is a simple, non-invasive dental treatment used to change the color of natural tooth enamel, and is an ideal way to enhance the beauty of your smile.  Over-the-counter products are also available, but they are generally less effective than professional treatments and may not be approved by the American Dental Association (ADA).

Smoking, drinking coffee, tea, and wine contribute to tooth discoloration, making our teeth yellow and dull.  Sometimes, teeth can become discolored from taking certain medications as a child, such as tetracycline.  Excessive fluoridation (fluorosis) during tooth development can also cause teeth to become discolored.

It’s important to have your teeth evaluated by your dentist to determine if you’re a good candidate for bleaching.  Occasionally, tetracycline and fluorosis stains are difficult to bleach and your dentist may offer other options, such as veneers or crowns to cover up such stains.  Occasionally a patient my be very sensitive to the belaching process and require a slower process, or they may just not be able to utilize this method to accomplish their goals.  In those rare cases veneers and/or crowns can usually solve the problem.  Since teeth whitening only works on natural tooth enamel, it is also important to evaluate replacement of any old fillings, crowns, etc. before bleaching begins.  Once the bleaching is done, your dentist can match the new restorations to the shade of the newly whitened teeth.

As teeth whitening is not permanent, a touch-up will be needed periodically, depending on several factors, to keep your smile looking bright.

The most widely used professional teeth whitening systems:

Home teeth whitening systems: At-home products usually come in a gel form that is placed in a custom-fitted mouthguard (tray), created from a mold of your teeth.  The trays are worn either twice a day for approximately 30 minutes, or overnight while you sleep.  It usually takes several weeks to achieve the desired results depending on the degree of staining and the desired level of whitening.

In office teeth whitening: This treatment is done in the dental office and you will see results immediately.  It may require more than one visit, with each visit lasting 30 to 60 minutes.  While your gums are protected, a bleaching solution is applied to the teeth.  This is an excellent solution for someone with a short deadline like a wedding or reunion!

Some patients may experience tooth sensitivity after having their teeth whitened.  This sensation is temporary and subsides shortly after you complete the bleaching process, usually within a few days to one weak.

Teeth whitening can be very effective and can give you a brighter, whiter, more confident smile!

With many state-of-the-art dental treatments and prevention options available in dentistry today, there are fewer reasons for having to extract (remove) teeth.  When something does go wrong with a tooth, we try to do everything possible to restore the tooth to its original function.  Removing a tooth is the last option because we know that removal may lead to severe and costly dental and cosmetic problems if the tooth is not replaced.

Losing a tooth can be a very traumatic experience and it’s very unfortunate when it does happen.  Injury, accident, fracture, severe dental decay, and gum disease are the major reasons for having to remove a tooth.  If teeth are lost due to injury or have to be removed, it is imperative that they be replaced to avoid cosmetic and dental problems in the future.

When a tooth is lost, the bone that helped to support that tooth begins to atrophy.  Bone loss and bite relationships can  cause the teeth on either side to shift or tip into the open space of the lost tooth.  Also, the tooth above or below the open space may start to move towards the open space because there is no opposing tooth to bite on.  These movements may create problems such as decay, gum disease, excessive wear on certain teeth, and TMJ (jaw joint) problems.  These problems and movements do not result immediately, but can compromise your function, the health of your bite, and the beauty of your smile.

Options for replacement of missing teeth:

Implants - Are a the best way to replace one or more missing teeth., in the appropriate situation. They are also great for supporting ill fitting dentures. A dental implant is an artificial root that is surgically placed into the bone to replace a missing tooth. An artificial tooth is then placed on the implant, giving the appearance and feel of a natural tooth. Implants are very stable, durable, and are the most aesthetically pleasing tooth replacement option.

Removable partial denture - This is a good solution for replacing one or more missing teeth, especially in complex dental situations where other replacement options are not possible. They are usually made of tooth-colored, artificial teeth combined with metal clasps that hook onto adjacent natural teeth. Removable partials are often the most economical option for replacing missing teeth, but may be the least aesthetically pleasing. The metal clasps on the appliances are often impossible to completely conceal. In some cases, a partial denture that has no metal can be appropriate and acceptable.

Fixed bridge - Generally made of porcelain or metal or a combination of those,   and is anchored (cemented) permanently to a natural teeth adjacent to the missing tooth site. The benefit of this type of restoration is that it is fixed (not removable) and it is very sturdy. The disadvantages are that in order to create a fixed appliance, two healthy, natural teeth will have to be crowned (capped) to hold the bridge in place, and cleaning around those remaining teeth will be more difficult.

Denture - This type of tooth replacement is used when most or all of the natural teeth are missing in one dental arch. Dentures are removable artificial teeth that are made to closely resemble the patients’ original teeth.  The upper denture is generally predictable and highly successful, while the lower denture is less so.  Combining implants with full dentures if often the most best choice for someone looking for a combination of cost control and long term stability.



If you are missing teeth, ask us if they need replacement and what options are available to you. Together we will select the best replacement option for your particular case. Prevention and early treatment is always less involved and less costly than delaying treatment and allowing a serious problem to develop.


Bad breath (halitosis) can be an unpleasant and embarrassing condition.  Many of us may not realize that we have bad breath, but everyone has it from time to time, especially in the morning.

There are various reasons one may have bad breath, but in healthy people, the major reason is due to microbial deposits on the tongue, especially the back of the tongue.  Some studies have shown that simply brushing the tongue reduced bad breath by as much as 70 percent.

What may cause bad breath?

  • Morning time – Saliva flow drops significantly during sleep and the reduced cleansing action allows bacteria to grow, causing bad breath.
  • Certain foods – Garlic, onions, etc.  Foods containing odor-causing compounds enter the blood stream; they are transferred to the lungs, where they are exhaled.
  • Poor oral hygiene habits – Food particles remaining in the mouth promote bacterial growth.
  • Periodontal (gum) disease – Colonies of bacteria and food debris residing under inflamed gums.
  • Dental cavities and improperly fitted dental appliances – May also contribute to bad breath.
  • Dry mouth (Xerostomia) – May be caused by certain medications, salivary gland problems, or continuous mouth breathing.
  • Tobacco products – Dry the mouth, causing bad breath, as well as imparting their own odor on the teeth and tongue.
  • Dieting – Certain chemicals called ketones are released in the breath as the body burns fat.
  • Dehydration, hunger, and missed meals – Drinking water and chewing food increases saliva flow and washes bacteria away.
  • Certain medical conditions and illnesses – Diabetes, liver and kidney problems, chronic sinus infections, bronchitis, and pneumonia are several conditions that may contribute to bad breath.

Keeping a record of what you eat may help identify the cause of bad breath.  Also, review your current medications, recent surgeries, or illnesses with you dentist.

What can I do to prevent bad breath?

  • Practice good oral hygiene – Brush at least twice a day with an ADA approved fluoride toothpaste and toothbrush.  Floss daily to remove food debris and plaque from in between the teeth and under the gumline.  Brush or use a tongue scraper to clean the tongue and reach the back areas.  Replace your toothbrush every 2 to 3 months.  If you wear dentures or removable bridges, clean them thoroughly and place them back in your mouth in the morning.
  • See your dentist regularly – Get a check-up and cleaning at least twice a year.  If you have or have had periodontal disease or build up deposits quickly, your dentist will recommend more frequent visits.
  • Stop smoking/chewing tobacco – Ask your dentist what they recommend to help break the habit.
  • Drink water frequently – Water will help keep your mouth moist and wash away bacteria.
  • Use mouthwash/rinses – Some over-the-counter products only provide a temporary solution to mask unpleasant mouth odor.  Ask your dentist about antiseptic rinses that not only alleviate bad breath, but also kill the germs that cause the problem.  One product you can fin on our links page, Smart Mouth, has been used by several patients with good success.

In most cases, your dentist can treat the cause of bad breath.  If it is determined that your mouth is healthy, but bad breath is persistent, your dentist may refer you to your physician to determine the cause of the odor and an appropriate treatment plan.


The purpose of brushing and flossing is to mechanically remove the plaque that causes various dental diseases. 

Plaque is a film of food debris, bacteria, and saliva that sticks to the teeth and gums.  The bacteria in plaque convert carbohydrates into acids which, in turn, cause tooth decay.  Additionally, if plaque is not removed, in a timely fashion it turns into calculus (tartar).  If plaque and calculus are not removed, they cause inflammation which will begin to destroy the gums and bone.  When that occurs, it is called periodontal (gum) disease.

Plaque formation and growth is continuous and can only be controlled by regular brushing, flossing, and the use of other dental aids.  The regenration of plaque takes about 8 hours.

Toothbrushing – Brush your teeth at least twice a day (especially before going to bed at night) with an ADA approved soft bristle brush and toothpaste.  Considering that the "plaque is back" in 8 hours, brushing and flossing 3 times per day (or every 8 hours) would be ideal.  We recommend electric brushes for all our patients , and we carry Oral B and Sonicare brushes at our office.

  • For a manual brush: Brush gently with a soft bristle brush at a 45 degree angle to the gums, using a small, circular motion, ensuring that you always feel the bristles on the gums.
  • For an electric brush: Allow the brush to work, using the same 45 degree angle.  You do not need to do the small circles as the brush will do them for you, but you still must allow the brush bristles to touch each surface of every tooth.
  • Brush the outer, inner, and biting surfaces of each tooth remembering that the teeth are not flat, so you need to brush the curves.
  • Use the tip of the brush head to clean the inside front teeth.
  • Brush your tongue thoroughly as far back as you can tolerate to remove bacteria and freshen your breath.

FlossingDaily flossing is the best way to clean between the teeth and under the gumline.  Flossing not only helps clean these spaces, it disrupts plaque colonies from building up, preventing damage to the gums, teeth, and bone.

  • Take a long enough piece of dental floss to wrap some around each middle finger and leave about 4 inches of floss between the fingers.
  • Using your thumbs and forefingers to guide the floss, gently insert the floss between teeth, using a sawing motion only to get through the tightest spaces.  This sawing motion should not be used once the floss is between the teeth as you can damage the tooth and/or gums.
  • Curve the floss into a “C” shape around each tooth and under the gumline.  Gently move the floss up and down while applying gentle pressure to clean the side of the tooth the floss is touching, then move to clean the adjacent surface of the next tooth.

Floss holders are recommended if you have difficulty using conventional floss.  These are readily available at your local pharmacy or grocery store that has a dental care section.  We also often recommend a specialized tool for cleaning areas under bridges and between teeth with large space- the Proxabrush, which we have available at the office.  There are also interdental brushes available in almost and dental care section in a grocery store or pharmacy.  We also have the Hydrofloss, and oral irrigator that we recommend to some patients as an additional tool to clean between the teeth.

Rinsing – It is important to rinse your mouth with water after brushing (depending on the product you are using), and also after meals if you are unable to brush.  Dr. Hughes recommends chewing sugar free gum after meals if you are unable to floss and brush immediately.  If you are using an over-the-counter product for rinsing, it’s a good idea to consult with your dentist or dental hygienist as to its appropriateness for you.  We carry Listerine over the counter products as well as prescription strength fluoride from Colgate.


Over the years there has been some concern as to the safety of amalgam (silver) fillings.  An amalgam is a blend of copper, silver, tin and zinc, bound by elemental mercury.  Dentists have used this blended metal to fill teeth for more than 100 years.  The controversy is due to claims that the exposure to the vapor and minute particles from the mercury can cause a variety of health problems.

According to the American Dental Association (ADA), up to 76% of dentists use silver containing mercury to fill teeth.  The ADA also states that silver fillings are safe and that studies have failed to find any link between silver containing mercury and any medical disorder.

Although studies indicate that there are no measurable health risks to patients who have silver fillings, we do know that mercury is a theoretically toxic material.  For instance, we have been warned to limit the consumption of certain types of fish that carry high levels of mercury in them.  However, with respect to amalgam fillings, the ADA maintains that when the mercury combines with the other components of the filling, it becomes an inactive substance that is safe.

There are numerous alternatives to silver fillings, including composite (tooth-colored), porcelain, and gold fillings.  We encourage you to discuss these options with your dentist so you can determine which is the best option for you.  At Red Rock Dental we have made the decision to eliminate silver fillings as a treatment option.  If you would like silver fillings to address your restorative needs we encourage you to seek care with an office that can meet your needs.  Dr Hughes does not recommend removing silver fillings to address any medical conditions, or just because they are there.  When they are failing, Dr. Hughes will recommend replacing silver fillings with other filling materials or crowns if necessary.


If you’re feeling somewhat self-conscious about your teeth, or just want to improve your smile, cosmetic dental treatments may be the answer to a more beautiful, confident smile.

Cosmetic dentistry has become very popular in the last several years, not only due to the many advances in cosmetic dental procedures and materials available today, but also because patients are becoming more and more focused on improving their overall health.  This includes dental prevention and having a healthier, whiter, more radiant smile.

There are many cosmetic dental procedures available to improve your teeth and enhance your smile.  Depending on your particular needs, cosmetic dental treatments can change your smile dramatically, from restoring a single tooth to having a full mouth make-over.  Ask your dentist how you can improve the health and beauty of your smile with cosmetic dentistry.

Cosmetic Procedures:

Teeth Whitening: Bleaching lightens teeth that have been stained or discolored by age, food, drink, and smoking.  Teeth darkened as a result of injury or taking certain medications can also be bleached, but the effectiveness depends on the degree of staining present and may require other treatments to effectively whiten them.

Composite (tooth-colored) Fillings: Also known as “bonding”, composite fillings are now widely used instead of amalgam (silver) fillings to repair teeth with cavities, and also to replace old defective fillings.  Tooth-colored fillings are also used to repair chipped, broken, or discolored teeth.  This type of filling is also very useful to fill in gaps and to protect sensitive, exposed root surfaces caused by gum recession.

Porcelain Veneers: Veneers are thin custom-made, tooth-colored shells that are bonded onto the fronts of teeth to create a beautiful individual smile.  They can help restore or camouflage damaged, discolored, poorly shaped, or misaligned teeth.  Unlike crowns, veneers require minimal tooth structure to be removed from the surface of the tooth.

Porcelain Crowns (caps): A crown is a tooth-colored, custom-made covering that encases the entire tooth surface restoring it to its original shape and size.  Crowns protect and strengthen teeth that cannot be restored with fillings or other types of restorations alone.  They are ideal for teeth that have large, fractured or broken fillings and also for those that are badly decayed or have severe cracks.

Dental Implants: Dental implants are artificial roots that are surgically placed into the bone to replace one or more missing teeth.  Porcelain crowns, bridges, and dentures can be made specifically to fit and attach to implants, giving a patient a strong, stable, and durable solution to fixed or removable dental appliances.

Orthodontics: Less visible and more effective brackets and wires are making straightening teeth with orthodontics much more appealing to adult patients.  Utilizing the 6 Month Smiles techniques can meet the needs of many adult patients.  Also, in some cases, teeth may be straightened with custom-made, clear, removable aligners that require no braces, like Invisalign.

Thanks to the advances in modern dentistry, cosmetic treatments can make a difference in making your smile shine!


Four out of five people that have periodontal disease don’t know it!  Most people are not aware of it because the disease is usually painless.  Unlike tooth decay, which often causes discomfort, it is possible to have periodontal disease, even severe periodontal disease, without pain.  Having regular dental check-ups and periodontal examinations are very important and will help detect if periodontal problems exist.

Gingivitis (inflammation of the gums) begins when plaque, a sticky, colorless, film of bacteria, food debris, and saliva, is left on the teeth and gums.  The bacteria produce toxins that inflame the gums.  When this inflammation causes the body to resorb the nearby bone, you have periodontal disease.  Loss of bone is the difference between gingivitis and periodontal disease.  Brushing and flossing regularly and effectively at home, combined with regular professional care, will ensure that plaque is not left behind to do its damage.  The cause of both of these situations is an active bacterial infection.

Other than poor oral hygiene, there are several other factors that may increase the risk of developing periodontal disease:

  • Smoking or chewing tobacco – Tobacco users are more likely than nonusers to form plaque and tartar on their teeth as smoking affects the environment in the mouth, making it more advantageous for the bacteria in question.
  • Certain tooth or appliance conditions – Bridges that no longer fit properly, crowded teeth, or defective fillings that may trap plaque and bacteria.
  • Many medications – Steroids, cancer therapy drugs, blood pressure medications, oral contraceptives.  Some medications have side effects that reduce saliva, making it easier for plaque to adhere to the teeth and gums.
  • Pregnancy, oral contraceptives, and puberty – Can cause changes in hormone levels, causing gum tissue to become more sensitive to bacterial toxins and therefore more likely to be inflamed.
  • Systemic diseases – Diabetes, blood cell disorders, HIV / AIDS, etc.  Any of these can cause delayed healing and increased inflammatory response.
  • Genetics may play role – Some patients may be predisposed to a more aggressive type of periodontitis.  Patients with a family history of non-traumatic tooth loss should pay particular attention to their gum health.

Signs and Symptoms of Periodontal Disease

  • Red and puffy gums – Healthy gum should never be red or swollen.  They should be pink and come to a point between the teeth.
  • Bleeding gums – Healthyums should never bleed, even when you brush vigorously or use dental floss.
  • Persistent bad breath – Caused by bacteria in the mouth.  There is often a characteristic odor associated with periodontal disease.
  • New spacing between teeth – Caused by bone loss.
  • Loose teeth – Also caused by bone loss or weakened periodontal fibers (fibers that adhere the tooth to the bone).
  • Pus around the teeth and gums – Sign that there is an infection present.
  • Receding gums – Loss of gum around a tooth usually due to bone loss.
  • Tenderness or Discomfort – Plaque, calculus, and bacteria irritate the gums and teeth making them tender to brushing and flossing.

Good oral hygiene, a balanced diet, and regular dental visits can help reduce your risk of developing periodontal disease.


Brushing our teeth removes food particles, plaque, and bacteria from all tooth surfaces that the brush can touch.    Unfortunately, our toothbrush can’t reach areas between the teeth, that are highly susceptible to decay and periodontal (gum) disease.

Daily flossing is the best way to clean between the teeth and under the gumline.  Flossing not only helps clean tood and debris out of these spaces, it disrupts plaque colonies from building up, preventing damage to the gums, teeth, and bone.

Plaque is a sticky, almost invisible film that forms on the teeth.  It is a growing colony of living bacteria, food debris, and saliva.  The bacteria produce toxins (acids) that cause cavities and irritate and inflame the gums.  Also, when plaque is not removed above and below the gumline, it hardens and turns into calculus (tartar).  This will further irritate and inflame the gums and also slowly destroy the bone.  This is the beginning of periodontal disease.

How to floss properly:

  • Take 20-24 inches of dental floss and wrap it around your middle fingers, leaving about 3-4 inches of floss between the middle fingers.
  • Using your thumbs and forefingers to guide the floss, gently insert the floss between teeth using a sawing motion if necessary.
  • Once it is in between the teeth, curve the floss into a “C” shape around each tooth and under the gumline.  Gently move the floss up and down, cleaning the side of each tooth.

Floss holders are recommended if you have difficulty using conventional floss.

Daily flossing will help you keep a healthy, beautiful smile for life!


Porcelain veneers are very thin shells of porcelain that are individually crafted to cover the fronts of teeth.  They are very durable and will not stain, making them a very popular solution for those seeking to restore or enhance the beauty of their smile.

Veneers may be used to restore or correct the following dental conditions:

  • Severely discolored or stained teeth
  • Unwanted or uneven spaces
  • Worn or chipped teeth
  • Slight tooth crowding
  • Misshapen teeth
  • Teeth that are too small or large

Getting veneers usually requires two visits.  Veneers are created from an impression (mold) of your teeth that is then sent to a professional dental laboratory where each veneer is custom-made (for shape and color) for your individual smile.

Often with little or no anesthesia, teeth are prepared by lightly buffing and shaping the front surface of the teeth to allow for the small thickness of veneers.  The veneers are carefully fitted and bonded onto the tooth surface with special bonding cements and occasionally a specialized light may be used to harden or set the bond.

Veneers are an excellent dental treatment that can dramatically improve your teeth and give you a natural, beautiful smile.


Most of us have fillings in our mouths that date back many years and some may have even been placed during our childhood. These fillings may now be old, dark, and unattractive, making us feel self-conscious when we smile, laugh, and talk. Old fillings are not only unattractive, they may also be defective. When a filling is old, the margins (joint between the tooth and filling) may eventually open and allow bacteria and food debris to enter, potentially causing dental decay.

Your dentist can check your fillings and evaluate if they are defective and need replacement. Also, if you simply want to replace fillings that are unattractive, you and your dentist can decide which ones should be replaced first and what replacement options would best suit you. There are many state-of-the-art dental filling materials and procedures available today that are quick, painless, and cost effective for replacing old, unattractive or defective fillings.

Options for replacing old, unattractive, or discolored fillings:

Composite (bonding) fillings - These are tooth-colored fillings that can be closely matched to the color of your existing teeth. They are particularly well suited for use in front teeth or visible parts of teeth and are one of the best ways to improve the health and beauty of your smile.

Crowns (Caps) - These types of restorations are used when a tooth is too damaged to be predicatably repaired with a filling or other type of restoration. A crown is a covering that encases the entire tooth surface restoring it to its original shape and size. A crown protects and strengthens the remaining tooth structure and can be made of gold, porcelain, and other tooth-colored materials.

Inlays/Onlays - These restorations are custom made fillings. They can be made of composite resin, porcelain or gold and are made by a dental laboratory and placed by a dentist. Inlays/onlays are usually best for the posterior chewing surfaces of teeth and are utilized to conservatively repair teeth that have large defective/unattractive fillings or have been damaged by decay or trauma.

Porcelain veneers - Used primarily in the front teeth, veneers are very thin shells of tooth-shaped porcelain that are individually crafted and permanently cemented to the front surfaces of teeth. They are a great solution for fixing discolored, pitted, malformed, or slightly crooked teeth. Veneers are also used if you have unwanted spaces. Veneers are very durable, natural looking, and do not stain. This makes veneers a very popular solution for restoring a smile impaired by old, unattractive fillings on front teeth.

As you can see, there are various options for replacing old, unattractive fillings. These treatments will provide strong, natural, and long-lasting replacement solutions to enhance the health and beauty of your smile.


Although thorough brushing and flossing remove most food particles and bacteria from easy to reach tooth surfaces, they do not reach the deep grooves on chewing surfaces of teeth. More than 75 percent of dental decay begins in these deep grooves (called pits and fissures). Toothbrush bristles are too large to possibly fit and clean most of these areas. This is where sealants play an important role.

A sealant is a thin plastic coating that covers and protects the chewing surfaces of molars, premolars, and any deep grooves or pits on teeth. Sealant material forms a protective, smooth barrier covering natural depressions and grooves in the teeth, making it much easier to clean and helps to keep these areas free of decay.

Who may need sealants?

Children and teenagers - As soon as the six-year molars (the first permanent back teeth) appear or any time throughout the cavity prone years of 6-16.

Infants - Baby teeth are occasionally sealed if the teeth have deep grooves and the child is cavity prone.

Adults - Tooth surfaces that have deep grooves or depressions that are difficult to clean.

Sealants are easily applied by your dentist or dental hygienist and the process only takes minutes per tooth. After the chewing surfaces are roughened with an acid solution that helps the sealant adhere to the tooth, the sealant material is “painted” onto the tooth surface, where it hardens and bonds to the teeth. Sometimes a special light will be used to help the sealant material harden.

After sealant treatment, it’s important to avoid chewing on ice cubes, hard candy, popcorn kernels, or any hard or sticky foods. Your sealants will be checked for wear and chipping at your regular dental check-up.

Combined with good home care, a proper diet, and regular dental check-ups, sealants are very effective in helping prevent tooth decay.