FAQ's

What makes us different?

Florence Family Dentistry is a warm and friendly office nestled in the heart of Florence, Colorado’s downtown. When you come into our office, you can rest assured that your comfort is our top priority. Our well-trained team is dedicated to taking the time to give you service that matches our commitment to gentle care, high quality technology and up-to-date dental procedures. Besides comfortable care, we offer nitrous oxide if you wish and ceiling-mounted movie screens for your entertainment. Your smile should last a lifetime. We can help you make sure that it does.

What is plaque?

The biggest threat to your dental health is plaque. Plaque is the soft, sticky film of bacteria which continually forms on teeth every 24 hours. It feeds on the food particles that are left in your mouth. When plaque accumulates, the bacteria produce harmful acids which eat away at the enamel of your teeth and irritate the gums. Over time, these acids penetrate tooth enamel causing cavities. If plaque is left to accumulate on teeth, it calcifies (or hardens) into calculus, more commonly known as tartar. Even when you do an excellent job of brushing and flossing, calculus slowly builds up between teeth, at the gum line, and below the gum line. It must be removed through professional dental cleaning. If not removed, plaque and calculus may cause a deterioration of the gums and bone supporting the teeth. Regular dental checkups and professional cleaning, in addition to good oral hygiene practices, will ensure that your smile stays bright and healthy.

How can my child be cavity free?

Brushing, flossing, and fluorides can help fight tooth decay, but at times, it just isn’t enough. The fact is, tooth decay occurs much faster in children than in adults. Hard-to-clean pits and fissures in back teeth trap food and bacteria. The protective enamel on the tooth is particularly thin in these pits and fissures, making them prone to rapid decay. While fluorides have reduced the incidence of tooth decay, they work best in protecting the smooth surfaces of teeth. Sealants are a tough, plastic material designed to bond with tooth enamel. When a clear or tooth-colored sealant is applied to the chewing surfaces of the back teeth, they shield the hard-to-clean grooves in back teeth from decay causing agents. The procedure is quick, simple, and pain-free. In combination with careful brushing, flossing, and fluorides, sealants can help your child begin a lifetime of excellent dental health.

What habits hurt Dental Health?

Many dental habits, both bad and good, are established when you are young. Good habits, such as proper brushing and flossing, help your teeth stay healthy and bright, while bad habits can lead to a lifetime of dental problems. Smoking and “smokeless” tobaccos, the most widespread bad dental habit, can stain teeth, irritate gums and mouth tissues, and cause oral cancer. They can also contribute to the development of gum disease. Habitual heavy drinking also irritates the gums and oral tissues. Candy, sugary drinks and other sweet-laden foods contribute to tooth decay. Heavy coffee, tea, or cola consumption produces a brownish stain on teeth over time. Even eating disorders cause serious dental problems. With self-induced vomiting, over time, the stomach acid contained in the vomit erodes tooth enamel, leaving the teeth looking worn and yellowish. An important step toward better dental health is making the commitment to replace bad dental habits with good ones.

Which type of toothbrush should I use?

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 cleanings.

Is one toothpaste better than others?

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

How often should I floss?

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.

What's the difference between a "crown" and a "cap"?

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".

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

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.

What about "silver" fillings versus "white" fillings?

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 tooth-colored composite fillings. We also prefer tooth-colored fillings because they "bond" to the tooth structure and therefore help strengthen a tooth weakened by decay. While 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.

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

No. While most teeth which have had root canal treatments do need crowns to strengthen 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.