Dennis D. Struve, DDS

 FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Q: Which type of toothbrush should I use?
A: The brand of the toothbrush is not as
critical as the type of bristle and the size of the
head. A soft toothbrush with a small head is
recommended because medium and hard
brushes tend to cause irritation and contribute to recession of the gums, and a small head
allows you to get around each tooth more
completely and is less likely to injure your
gums. It's unnecessary to "scrub" the teeth as
long as you are brushing at least twice a day
and visiting your dentist at least twice a year
for cleaning.
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Q: Is one toothpaste better than others?

A: Generally, no. However, it's advisable to use a fluoride containing toothpaste to decrease
the incidence of dental decay. We recommend out patients use what tastes good to them as long as it contains fluoride.

Q: How often should I floss?

A: Flossing of the teeth once per day helps to prevent cavities from forming between the
teeth where your toothbrush can't reach. Flossing also helps to keep your gums healthy.

Q: What's the difference between a "crown" and a "cap"?
A: These are restorations to repair a severely broken tooth by covering all or most of the
tooth after removing old fillings, fractured tooth structure, and all decay. The restoration material is made of gold, porcelain, composites, or even stainless steel. Dentists refer to all
of these restorations as "crowns". However, patients often refer to the tooth-colored ones
as "caps" and the gold or stainless steel ones as "crowns".

Q: What's the difference between a "bridge" and a "partial denture"?

A: Both bridges and partial dentures replace missing teeth. A bridge is permanently
attached to abutment teeth or, in some cases, implants. A partial denture is attached by
clasps to the teeth and is easily removed by the patient. Patients are usually more satisfied with bridges than with partial dentures.

Q: What about "silver" fillings versus "white" fillings?
A: Although the U.S. Public Health Service issued a report in 1993 stating there is no
health reason not to use amalgam (silver fillings), more patients today are requesting
"white" or composite fillings. We also prefer tooth-colored fillings because the "bond" to the
tooth structure and therefore help strengthen a tooth weakened by decay. White fillings
are also usually less sensitive to temperature, and they also look better. However, "white"
fillings cannot be used in every situation, and if a tooth is very badly broken-down, a crown
will usually be necessary and provide better overall satisfaction for the patient.

Q: Do I need to have a root canal just because I have to have a crown?
A: No. While most teeth which have had root canal treaments do need crowns to strenthen
the teeth and to return the teeth to normal form and function, not every tooth needing a
crown also needs to have a root canal.




151-A Ash Street
Susanville, CA 96130
(530) 257-9597

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