Q&A with Steven Wolfson, DDS, FAGD
Q: I am frightened of going to the dentist. How would sedation dentistry benefit me?
A: Sedation dentistry is used to ease patients nerves and ensure they are comfortable. Our patients take a pill about an hour before their appointment and safely snooze while we wipe away years of pain and neglect, restoring their healthy and beautiful smiles. My in-house ceramist works with us to ensure proper function and fit with all restorations. Our patients are given the gift of a healthy, dazzling smile in as few as one to two visits. Fear is the main thing that keeps patients from obtaining the dentistry they so desperately need; sedation dentistry completely snuffs out the fear response.
Q: I am interested in improving the appearance of my teeth with veneers. How do I decide between porcelain and composite resin veneers?
A: The choice of materials used to create our smile masterpieces is typically left up to the dentist. Both materials have certain properties that make them very useful and desirable in specific situations. However, if patients inquire or have a specific request for one material over another, we go over their choices in detail, giving the patient the freedom to make their own informed decision.
Q: When should I consider getting dental implants?
A: Dental implants are used to restore teeth that are broken beyond repair, loose, or missing. They give back the ability to chew food normally while looking and feeling great. Implants can replace a single tooth or restore multiple teeth. Patients who are denture wearers experience a huge benefit in switching to dental implants because they function and feel as solid as their real teeth used to be. With the technology of today, utilizing c-t scans and s-guides, they can be placed quickly and easily, usually in a single appointment. In our office, we work with a team approach bringing together years of knowledge and experience, ensuring proper healing, integration and a fantastic result. Our office also utilizes our in-house ceramist for custom fit, shading, and esthetics.
Q: What are the signs of gum disease?
A: Red, puffy, bleeding gums, loose teeth, shifting teeth, or bad breath can all be signs of gum disease. Your dentist makes the actual diagnosis. The treatment typically starts with a thorough cleaning, both above and below the gums, to remove any deposits harboring the bacteria that cause gum disease. The dentist may choose to prescribe a variety of cleaning agents, brushes, irrigating medicaments and/or antibiotic medications to help treat the disorder. Thorough hygiene instructions are also given. After treatment, the patient is then monitored carefully, to make sure the disease state is improving and resolving. If not, there are several surgical methods that can be used to treat the disease. If left untreated, gum disease can be insidious. It can cause loss of teeth, loss of jawbone, and worse. There is now direct evidence that connects chronic gum disease to coronary heart disease, pregnancy defects, and possibly some forms of cancer. Refer to http://body.aol.com/health/fall-health/dental-mouth for a discussion on oral health and medical conditions.
Q: How does Invisalign orthodontics work?
A: Invisalign is a proprietary name for an orthodontic system that allows for the dentist to straighten the teeth without the use of traditional brackets and wires. This system uses a variety of clear, plastic trays that fit over the teeth. The trays are made as a system of successively straighter teeth and the patient wears the trays as directed by the dentist. The advantage is that the trays are nearly imperceptible, allowing the patient to straighten their teeth without many cosmetic issues. There are limitations as to which types of cases can be treated with this system, but overall, most patients love the system.
Q: I want to improve the appearance of my smile. Should I consider veneers or whitening?
A: Porcelain veneers are used to perfect the shape, color, size, texture, position, and strength of teeth. They are a thing of beauty, making them a very popular choice for many of our patients. However, patients who do not have the desire to change anything but the color of their teeth have the option of whitening. This is a very sought after procedure. Patients who whiten their teeth realize that whitening needs to be constantly touched up to maintain the level of lightness desired. For this reason, some patients choose porcelain veneers, as they are very color stable. Call us if you have any questions regarding the options that are available to you.
Dr. Wolfson is a Fellow of the Academy of General Dentistry (only 5 percent of dentists hold this recognition). He obtained his aesthetic and functional training at the prestigious Pankey Institute, the Las Vegas Institute for Aesthetic Dentistry, and the Baylor University Aesthetic Continuums. With over 15 years of experience, he has been voted a Top Doc by H Texas magazine and is the official dentist of the Miss Houston and Miss Teen Houston pageants.
The Tanglewood Center
For Aesthetic Dentistry
510 Bering Drive, Ste. 450
Houston, TX 77057