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Dental FAQs

Dental FAQs at Elite prosthethic Dentistry

Dr. Gerald Marlin and his team take great pride in their commitment to dentistry and consistently providing his patients a level of service and quality of care beyond what would reasonably be expected. Patient education is also an important component of the care provided by Dr. Marlin, and the sections below will help to answer Frequently Asked Questions from our patients and to inform you about various procedures, including dental implants, cosmetic dentistry and dental crowns.

For any additional questions regarding implant or cosmetic dentistry, or to schedule an initial consultation, please contact our Chevy Chase dental implant office and a member of our team will be glad to be of service.

Dental Health FAQs

Recent studies have noted that periodontal disease may put people at increased risk for heart disease, diabetes, stroke, respiratory disease, and osteoporosis. The high cost of treating these ailments can have a huge financial impact on the American family.

Advances in X-ray equipment, especially digital imaging technology, allows us to get a good X-ray image using much less radiation than was previously required. A typical dental X-ray image exposes you to a low dosage of 2 or 3 mrem. If, in fact, an X-ray is taken such that the cone is not centered, a part of the film is not even exposed, which points out how a dose comes from an X-ray. Combine this with the fact that all patients wear a lead apron during X-ray exposure, and you have a low risk factor.

The National Council on Radiation Protection (NCRP) says that the average resident of the U.S. receives about 360 mrem every year from background sources. This comes from outer space, radioactive mtaterials in the earth, and small amounts of radioactive material in most foods we consume.

As your dentist, we will gain valuable information from the X-rays to aid in keeping your teeth healthy. It is in your best interest to have dental x-rays considering the small amount of radiation you will receive from them.

We recently completed a major reconstruction on one of our patients, who had not been to a dentist in twenty-five years because of her fears regarding dental treatment. How did we accomplish this? With compassion and understanding and talking her through the process. For long appointments, we offered her anti-anxiety medication. In addition, we applied gentle techniques from anesthesia to the actual work, along with our stereo head phones connected to our Sirius radio, which blocks out those noxious sounds.

In short, dental anxiety does not have to keep you from taking care of your dental needs. Once you have met our caring, interactive team, you feel more at ease. We will review your treatment options and answer your questions, knowing that stress and anxiety are often associated with the unknown. We want you to be comfortable with expressing your concerns, and, when you feel that it is necessary, we will premedicate you with an anti-anxiety medication. Communication is the key. Our compassionate dental team is committed to your good dental health and we will work along with you to achieve that success and take control of your fears.

We frequently premedicate our patients with an oral anti-anxiety drug for long appointments. We even provide I.V. sedation as a “twilight” sedation (a lighter version of what is provided during a colonoscopy) for a very easy experience. In addition, we offer one of our XM radios to provide the music or talk programs of your choice-to block out our noise. In the area to be anesthetized (numbed), we first apply a topical numbing gel prior to giving a super preanesthetic with the same acid-base balance as your tissues, which reduces any stinging sensations. The anesthetic is also warmed so that you are receiving it at body temperature. This, along with a relaxed body promotes a clear and relaxed mind. These comfort measures help invoke that relaxed state. We offer anti-anxiety medications for our patients are very anxious about dental procedures.

Gastroesophageal acid reflex disease, or GERD, causes stomach acids to back up into the esophagus and sometimes into the mouth. It may often be confused with indigestion. Individuals may be at risk of serious damage to the esophagus, including developing esophageal cancer.

We often notice tooth erosion and periodontal problems. Acid reflux predisposes an individual to an increased decay rate. Other symptoms can include sinus infections, heartburn, difficulty swallowing, cough, hoarseness and bad breath.

Treatment strategies can include prescription medication, eating smaller meals, not eating a meal after 9:00 PM, avoiding foods like tomato, citrus foods, raw onions, spicy foods, chocolate, alcohol and coffee. If extensive damage has occurred to your teeth, crowns may be an option to repair the problem.

Certain foods, health conditions and habits can cause bad breath. In many cases, proper dental hygiene can improve bad breath by preventing plaque from accumulating. Try following these steps: brush your teeth after you eat, floss at least once a day, brush your tongue, clean any removable appliance thoroughly once a day, drink plenty of water, and change your toothbrush every three to four months. If, despite practicing proper dental hygiene, your bad breath persists, schedule an appointment so that we can help determine the cause and whether a physician should be consulted. In some instances, a gastrointestinal evaluation is indicated.

Prescriptions and over-the-counter medications, such as antihistamines, aspirin, and anticoagulants, can have an effect on your oral health. Being aware of the side effects can help you maintain your dentition. Whatever medications you are taking, be sure to keep us informed. That information can help us provide safe and effective dental care.

Bisphosphonates are drugs used for the clinical treatment of osteoporosis, multiple myeloma, Paget’s disease, and the treatment of metastatic breast, lung and others cancers. Bisphosphonates inhibit bone resorption by decreasing the activity of the cells that remove old, injured, and dying bone. Bisphosphonates are dispensed orally or intravenously.

Patients receiving IV bisphosphonate therapy are most at risk for BRONJ (bisphosphonate-related ostenonecrosis of the jaws). This condition can cause severe and often irreversible and debilitating damage to the jaw following periodontal surgery, implant placement, or tooth extraction.

Before starting oral or IV bisphosphonate therapy, all patients should get a comprehensive dental examination and have all treatment performed (restorative, periodontal and especially extractive).

Many patients grind or clench their teeth, a condition known as bruxism. This grinding may also put unintended pressure on the muscles and tissues of your jaw resulting in tooth and other jaw disorders, headaches and ear pain. The symptoms of this disorder are often referred to as TMJ/TMD (Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction), and can, sometimes, be confused with a migraine headache. In addition to headache symptoms, we have even seen patients who have double vision and other signs.

An incomplete bite is frequently a major cause of TMJ as the muscles of the jaw are continuously seeking a solid contact. This is corrected via a minor bite adjustment. In addition, we recommend a custom fit, durable acrylic night guard to protect your teeth and diminish other TMJ type symptoms. If you have any of the symptoms or are not sure of why you have nagging head and neck aches, we recommend that you schedule for a complete occlusal (bite) examination.

Yes. For more than 100 years, dental amalgams have been used to restore teeth. Because silver dental filling contain mercury, there has been concern regarding its safety. The FDA has posted a precaution on its website but only for two groups, pregnant women and young children. Both are already urged to limit mercury from another source seafood because too much can harm a developing brain.

Amalgam restorations, which over time, corrode, leak, and cause stains on your teeth and gums, can now be replaced with today’s tooth-colored fillings. These restorations (porcelain inlays, onlays, and composites) are more esthetic, add strength to weakened teeth, provide a superior fit, and are very strong thanks to new bonding technologies.

Start improving your dental health today. Call Elite Prosthetic Dentistry at 202-244-2101 to get started.

Watch: Meet Your DC Prosthodontist - Dr. Gerald Marlin

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Additional Dental FAQs

Please also see additional FAQS below:

Although, many of our patients are referred to us by other practitioners, a professional referral is not required to schedule an appointment with our office. Many of our referrals are from family and friends of our patients who feel comfortable with us and trust their dental health to Dr. Marlin. In addition, many of our patients come to us, after reviewing the comprehensive information on our web site that is relevant to their issues. Whether you need routine tooth cleanings, fillings, or more complex dental care, our highly trained team is dedicated to providing you with the highest level of dentistry in a caring environment. Visit our Patient Registration page.

To practice dentistry, one must have a degree of Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) or Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD). The majority of dental schools award the DDS degree; however, the University of Pennsylvania, Boston University, the University of Washington, Harvard, University of Michigan, and others offer a DMD degree. These schools offer the DMD degree to reflect the close relationship between dentistry and medicine. Dr. Marlin received his DMD degree from the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine (Penn).

Whitening is the most popular cosmetic procedure done by dentists, but it’s not for everyone. If you’re pregnant, nursing, or have gum disease, cracked teeth, or cavities in the surface you want whitened, some procedures are not recommended. Unfortunately, bleaching won’t lighten crowns, bonding, or tooth-colored fillings.

However, we have found consistent results by providing a controlled, in office, whitening process.

To reduce or eliminate the sensitivity:

  • Brush your teeth with a toothpaste that contain potassium nitrate. Its made for sensitive teeth and should sooth the teeths nerve endings.
  • Use over the counter medication (i.e. Tylenol or Advil for a day or two.)
  • If using a Take Home Whitening Kit, stop whitening for a few days. This allows the teeth to adjust to the whitening process
  • If using a Take Home Whitening Kit, use shorter bleaching sessions
  • Ask us about a high fluoride product to help remineralize your teeth.

No. With good oral hygiene and regular professional care, your teeth are meant to last a lifetime. However, if left untreated, periodontal (gum) disease can lead to tooth loss. It is the primary cause of tooth loss in adults 35 and over.

Studies have shown a 10 year success rate of implants to be between 90 and 95%. This success rate also depends on the dentist’s skill, quality and quantity of the bone available at the site, and the patient’s oral hygiene. Our success rate is greater than 97%.

Our senior patients may not consider implants due to their ages. However, health is more of a factor than age in assessing if a patient is a candidate for dental implants. Implants offer vastly improved chewing and function normally, which is a primary concern of our older patients.

Most of our patients do not experience significant pain after implant surgery. To prevent or diminish discomfort, we pre-medicate our patients with an anti-inflammatory, such as, Advil, Motrin or Ibuprofen. Following surgery, you may experience some discomfort. However, with medication before and after surgery, most of our patients report being more comfortable than they anticipated. We do ask you to avoid strenuous exercise for the next 48 hours to protect the implant site.

The answer is yes, in selected cases. However, Teeth in a Day is being promoted as a simplistic way of receiving new teeth the same day as dental implants are placed. It can mean anything from replacing a single tooth via an implant-supported, temporary crown to restoring a whole arch of teeth in one day with a permanent appliance. Many patients come to us for a second opinion, after receiving an opinion that they should have all of their remaining teeth removed in an arch having them replaced with 4 or more implants followed by converting a denture to a fixed appliance. In many instances, we have found such an opinion to be misguided, because we, actually, saved most of our new patient’s remaining teeth. When a Same Day Implants procedure is indicated, we go to great lengths to preserve and rebuild bone with grafting procedures.

Smoking is a significant risk factor with regard to tooth loss and dental implant failure. Smoking negatively affects blood flow to the bone and tissues surrounding the gums and teeth, which impairs bone healing. People who smoke are at a greater risk of infection or other causes of implant failure following surgery.

We encourage you to kick the habit. There are many new smoking cessation products and support groups to help you. Smoking cessation takes a huge commitment and it is usually easier if you have help. To begin a tobacco cessation program, ask us or your physician for more information.

Recent studies have noted that periodontal disease may put people at increased risk for heart disease, diabetes, stroke, respiratory disease, and osteoporosis. The high cost of treating these ailments can have a huge financial impact on the American family.

Advances in X-ray equipment, especially digital imaging technology, allows us to get a good X-ray image using much less radiation than was previously required. A typical dental X-ray image exposes you to only about 2 or 3 mrem. The National Council on Radiation Protection (NCRP) says that the average resident of the U.S. receives about 360 mrem every year from background sources. This comes from outer space, radioactive materials in the earth, and small amounts of radioactive material in most foods we consume.

As your dentist, we will gain valuable information from the x-rays to aid in keeping your teeth healthy. It is in your best interest to have dental x-rays considering the small amount of radiation you will receive from them.

Dental anxiety does not have to keep you from taking care of your dental needs. First, we invite you to our office, where you will find a caring, interactive team to make you feel more at ease. We will review your treatment options and answer your questions, knowing that stress and anxiety are often associated with the unknown. We want you to be comfortable with expressing your concerns. Communication is the key. Our compassionate dental team is committed to your good dental health and we will work along with you to achieve that success and take control of your fears.

In addition, We frequently pre-medicate our patients with an oral anti-anxiety drug for long appointments. We even provide I.V. sedation as a “twilight” sedation (a lighter version of what is provided during a colonoscopy) for a very easy experience.

We frequently premedicate our patients with an oral anti-anxiety drug for long appointments. We even provide I.V. sedation as a “twilight” sedation (a lighter version of what is provided during a colonoscopy) for a very easy experience. In addition, we offer one of our XM radios to provide the music or talk programs of your choice-to block out our noise. In the area to be anesthetized (numbed), we first apply a topical numbing gel prior to giving a super preanesthetic with the same acid-base balance as your tissues, which reduces any stinging sensations. The anesthetic is also warmed so that you are receiving it at body temperature. This, along with a relaxed body promotes a clear and relaxed mind. These comfort measures help invoke that relaxed state. We offer anti-anxiety medications for our patients are very anxious about dental procedures.

While no one can guarantee the duration of a dental crown, various studies have indicated that the average crown lasts 5-10 years. Our experience has been that the vast majority of our crowns have lasted at least 35 years.

Gastroesophageal acid reflex disease, or GERD, causes stomach acids to back up into the esophagus and sometimes into the mouth. It may often be confused with indigestion. Individuals may be at risk for serious damage to the esophagus, including developing esophageal cancer.

We often notice tooth erosion and periodontal problems. Acid reflux predisposes an individual to an increased decay rate. Other symptoms can include sinus infections, heartburn, difficulty swallowing, cough, hoarseness and bad breath.

Treatment strategies can include prescription medication, eating smaller meals, avoiding foods like tomato, citrus foods, raw onions, spicy foods, chocolate, alcohol and coffee. If extensive damage has occurred to your teeth, crowns may be an option to repair the problem.

Certain foods, health conditions and habits can cause bad breath. In many cases, proper dental hygiene can improve bad breath by preventing plaque from accumulating. Try following these steps: brush your teeth after you eat, floss at least once a day, brush your tongue, clean any removable appliance thoroughly once a day, drink plenty of water, and change your toothbrush every three to four months. If, despite practicing proper dental hygiene, your bad breath persists, schedule an appointment so that we can help determine the cause and whether a physician should be consulted. In some instances, a gastrointestinal evaluation is indicated.

Prescriptions and over-the-counter medications, such as antihistamines, aspirin, and anticoagulants, can have an effect on your oral health. Being aware of the side effects can help you maintain your dentition. Whatever medications you are taking, be sure to keep us informed. That information can help us provide safe and effective dental care.

Bisphosphonates are drugs used for the clinical treatment of osteoporosis, multiple myeloma, Pagets disease, and the treatment of metastatic breast, lung and others cancers. Bisphosphonates inhibit bone resorption by decreasing the activity of the cells that remove old, injured, and dying bone. Bisphosphonates are dispensed orally or intravenously.

Patients receiving IV bisphosphonate therapy are most at risk for BRONJ (bisphosphonate-related ostenonecrosis of the jaws). This condition can cause severe and often irreversible and debilitating damage to the jaw following periodontal surgery, implant placement, or tooth extraction.

Before starting oral or IV bisphosphonate therapy, all patients should get a comprehensive dental examination and perform all treatment (restorative, periodontal and especially extractive).

Many patients grind or clench their teeth, a condition known as bruxism. This grinding may also put unintended pressure on the muscles and tissues of your jaw resulting in tooth and other jaw disorders, headaches and ear pain. The symptoms of this disorder are often referred to as TMJ/TMD (Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction).

An incomplete bite is frequently a major cause of TMJ as the muscles of the jaw are continuously seeking a solid contact. This is corrected via a minor bite adjustment. In addition, we recommend a custom fit, durable acrylic night guard to protect your teeth and diminish other TMJ type symptoms.

Yes. For more than 100 years, dental amalgams have been used to restore teeth. Because silver dental fillings contain mercury, there has been concern regarding its safety. The FDA has posted a precaution on its website but only for two groups, pregnant women and young children. Both are already urged to limit mercury from another source seafood because too much can harm a developing brain.

It is an autoimmune digestive disorder triggered by intolerance to gluten. Left untreated, the disease may result in increased likelihood of developing other autoimmune disorders, osteoporosis, anemia, infertility and seemingly unrelated medical consequences like neurological disorders.

Some of the symptoms are weight loss, constipation or diarrhea, fatigue, depression and dental enamel loss. With regular check-ups and tooth cleanings, early detection can help.

Watch: Am I A Candidate for Dental Implants?

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Contact Elite Prosthetic Dentistry Today!

If you are ready to schedule your appointment with our trusted, experienced, and caring prosthodontist, please call 202-244-2101 today. We welcome patients from Chevy Chase, Bethesda, Silver Spring, Alexandria, Fairfax, Reston, and all surrounding communities.

Our office is conveniently located one block from the Friendship Heights Metro Stop on Wisconsin Ave in the Chevy Chase-Friendship Heights region. Because of our well-situated uptown location and our high-efficiency treatment regimen resulting from working directly with our own in-house technician, many downtown-area patients come to us at the beginning or end of their busy workday.