Highland Smiles
A Great Dentist

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How can we help you?

Dr. Kara Arnold, Dr. Jennifer Rohleder, and the entire team at Highland Smiles want your dental appointment to be a comfortable one. Part of that means understanding the treatment you and your family will receive. We are happy to take the time to share our knowledge with our patients when it comes to their treatment, and we enjoy taking the time to educate them. We want our patients to make good decisions about the different treatments available; we also want them armed with the latest in proper oral health maintenance. We make sure your appointment includes plenty of time for discussion, so you will never feel rushed in our office. Don’t hesitate to voice any concerns you might have!

We hear quite a few questions regularly, and we’ve included a list of them here. If your question is not answered in this list, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us to ask. If it is an important question to you, it’s an important question to us—and we are happy to take the time to answer it. You should never feel uncertain about treatment options. Dr. Arnold and Dr. Rohleder will take whatever time is needed to answer your questions thoroughly so you feel good about moving forward with treatment. 

Other

emergency dentist denver highlands coIf your crown came off:

  • If your crown comes off and it is during normal business hours, please call the office and we will re-cement it.
  • If your crown comes off and you have had a root canal, you should not experience any discomfort and it is not an urgent situation. Call us during office hours.
  • If the crown comes off after hours or on the weekend you have two options: (1) leave the crown off of the tooth and call during normal business hours for a re-cementation appointment, or (2) re-cement the crown yourself. You can go to any pharmacy and get “Dentemp” or denture adhesive in the toothpaste aisle (instructions on package). Clean out the crown gently with your toothbrush and place some of the temporary material inside the crown and firmly put the crown back in place. Call us during normal business hours, and we can check the crown for you.

If you are experiencing dental pain with swelling:

  • If you are experiencing dental pain with swelling and it is during normal business hours, please call the office immediately for an appointment.
  • If you are experiencing dental pain with swelling after-hours or on a weekend, please seek the nearest 24-hour urgent care clinic.

If you have a temporary crown:

While you are in the temporary phase, expect to have cold and chewing sensitivity. You may take ibuprofen to help with any discomfort. If your gums are sensitive after the treatment, warm salt water rinses will help with the healing process.

If you experience aching, throbbing, pain that wakes you up at night and ibuprofen is not helping, please call our office during normal business hours.

Care for your temporary crown as follows.

  • Avoid chewing anything hard or sticky (such as almonds and gum) on the side with the temporary
  • Do not floss between the temporary and adjacent teeth. If you absolutely must floss, hold onto the temp and slide the floss out rather than popping it out.
  • Continue brushing normally on the temporary.

If your temporary crown falls off:

  • If your temporary comes off and it is within normal business hours, please call the office and we will re-cement it.
  • If it comes off after hours or on weekends, you can go to any pharmacy and get “Dentemp” or denture adhesive in the toothpaste aisle (instructions on package). Clean out the temporary gently with your toothbrush and place some of the temporary material inside the crown and firmly put the crown back in place.

If you have had a root canal and your temporary crown falls off:

  • If your temporary crown comes off after your root canal, you should not experience any discomfort and it is not an urgent situation.
  • If the temporary crown comes off on the weekend you have two options:  (1) leave the temporary crown off the tooth and call on Monday for a re-cementation appointment, or (2) re-cement the crown yourself. You can go to any pharmacy and get “Dentemp” or denture adhesive in the toothpaste aisle (instructions on package). Remove some of the old cement from the inside of your crown, dry your tooth off and push the temporary crown with the cement inside to your tooth. Call the office during business hours and we will re-cement/check your temporary.

Please direct any other questions regarding temporary crowns to the main office line.

 

Bite Guards

tmj treatment denver highlandsIf you are grinding your teeth, a bite guard might be the answer. This simple device  protects the teeth from grinding against each other. It fits between your upper and lower molars. We can make a custom bite guard that will fit you securely and comfortably. The bite guard is worn at night. Patients generally sleep better and wake up with no headache or jaw pain.

Many people grind or clench their teeth while they are sleeping, and they aren’t even aware they are doing it. Often it is their dentist who uncovers the habit because they can see teeth that have worn down. If your Denver dentist recommends a bite guard after an evaluation of the wear on your teeth, wearing it at night can help protect your teeth from further damage.  

If you continue to grind or clench your teeth at night without intervention, you may start feeling pain in the jaw joint (the temporomandibular joint, or TMJ). You might also begin to experience headaches and pain that radiates along the jaw.

A custom-made bite guard is different from the mouthguards you can purchase over the counter to protect your teeth while playing sports. These soft guards are not made to run interference with the act of grinding or clenching.

We will make a bite guard in Denver for you from an impression of your teeth and bite registration. After you wear it for a week, we will see you again to adjust it as needed. A bite guard that fits you properly can last for a very long time. And it will eliminate the grinding motion—protecting your teeth and keeping you pain-free.

CEREC Same-Day Crowns

denver highlands dentist | denver co dentistIf you receive a temporary dental crown, you should be sure to avoid sticky and chewy foods such as caramels, chewing gum, or anything that can “pull” at the crown. You can also talk to us about CEREC same-day crowns. We are one of the few dental offices in the Denver area to offer CEREC technology. With CEREC, a decayed, damaged, or broken tooth can be replaced with a strong crown that looks completely natural in just one trip to the dentist!

 

Step 1: Scan

Step 2: Mill

Step 3: Prepare for fire

Step 4: Place tooth in the oven

emergency dentist denver highlands coIf your crown came off:

  • If your crown comes off and it is during normal business hours, please call the office and we will re-cement it.
  • If your crown comes off and you have had a root canal, you should not experience any discomfort and it is not an urgent situation. Call us during office hours.
  • If the crown comes off after hours or on the weekend you have two options: (1) leave the crown off of the tooth and call during normal business hours for a re-cementation appointment, or (2) re-cement the crown yourself. You can go to any pharmacy and get “Dentemp” or denture adhesive in the toothpaste aisle (instructions on package). Clean out the crown gently with your toothbrush and place some of the temporary material inside the crown and firmly put the crown back in place. Call us during normal business hours, and we can check the crown for you.

If you are experiencing dental pain with swelling:

  • If you are experiencing dental pain with swelling and it is during normal business hours, please call the office immediately for an appointment.
  • If you are experiencing dental pain with swelling after-hours or on a weekend, please seek the nearest 24-hour urgent care clinic.

If you have a temporary crown:

While you are in the temporary phase, expect to have cold and chewing sensitivity. You may take ibuprofen to help with any discomfort. If your gums are sensitive after the treatment, warm salt water rinses will help with the healing process.

If you experience aching, throbbing, pain that wakes you up at night and ibuprofen is not helping, please call our office during normal business hours.

Care for your temporary crown as follows.

  • Avoid chewing anything hard or sticky (such as almonds and gum) on the side with the temporary
  • Do not floss between the temporary and adjacent teeth. If you absolutely must floss, hold onto the temp and slide the floss out rather than popping it out.
  • Continue brushing normally on the temporary.

If your temporary crown falls off:

  • If your temporary comes off and it is within normal business hours, please call the office and we will re-cement it.
  • If it comes off after hours or on weekends, you can go to any pharmacy and get “Dentemp” or denture adhesive in the toothpaste aisle (instructions on package). Clean out the temporary gently with your toothbrush and place some of the temporary material inside the crown and firmly put the crown back in place.

If you have had a root canal and your temporary crown falls off:

  • If your temporary crown comes off after your root canal, you should not experience any discomfort and it is not an urgent situation.
  • If the temporary crown comes off on the weekend you have two options:  (1) leave the temporary crown off the tooth and call on Monday for a re-cementation appointment, or (2) re-cement the crown yourself. You can go to any pharmacy and get “Dentemp” or denture adhesive in the toothpaste aisle (instructions on package). Remove some of the old cement from the inside of your crown, dry your tooth off and push the temporary crown with the cement inside to your tooth. Call the office during business hours and we will re-cement/check your temporary.

Please direct any other questions regarding temporary crowns to the main office line.

 

cerec crowns denver highlandsWith single-visit ceramic restorations, the procedure for getting a dental crown is easier than ever. Called CEREC technology, this procedure takes place all in one visit. First, we will take an optical impression of your tooth using a digital camera. CEREC’s three-dimensional software creates a model of the crown, which we can adjust as needed for a perfect fit. Once finalized, the specifications are sent to the onsite milling unit. A perfect-fitting restoration is ready to be bonded in just about 15 minutes. There are no more worries about ill-fitting temporaries!

Dental Implants

Dental implants consist of a two-part procedure; 1. The extraction of the tooth and surgical placement of the implant, 2. The crown placed on the implant. Typically between the two procedures, most patients can have their fully restored dental implants in about three to four months. 

There are many advantages to dental implants such as superior comfort, full chewing power, realistic appearance, easier care, and improved oral health. 

Dental implants are different from traditional bridges as they can replace a single missing tooth and not affect adjacent teeth. A dental implant acts as an artificial tooth root preserving the bone structure and stimulating bone growth helping to maintain proper facial support. Whereas bridges, generally attached to the teeth on either side of the missing space, does not prevent further bone loss. 

Nitrous Oxide

dental anxiety denver highlandsIf you are nervous about your treatment, just let us know. Dr. Arnold, Dr. Rohleder, or anyone on our team will be happy to answer any questions or address any concerns you might have. Sometimes just understanding the details of the treatment is enough to waylay any fears you might have. If you are very anxious about treatment, however, we can talk to you about how nitrous oxide sedation can help relax you while you undergo treatment. 

Periodontal Treatment

laser dentistry denver highlands Laser therapy to treat periodontal disease involves using a dental laser to remove inflamed gum tissue from around the tooth. After we remove the infected tissue and expose the tooth root, we can scrape off the calculus and plaque that has built up below the gum line. The root is smoothed out to avoid rough spots that will attract additional bacteria, and then the gum and root area can heal. With laser therapy, bleeding, pain, and swelling are minimized, and healing takes place much more quickly. 

Preventive Care

The American Dental Association recommends brushing at least twice a day and flossing at least once a day to help remove plaque. You should also visit your dentist twice each year for an examination and a professional cleaning.

dental cleaning denver co | denver highlands dentistGenerally, most people should visit their dentist every six months for an examination and cleaning. It is also recommended that patients have x-rays done at least once a year. For those who might be prone to periodontal problems, however, checkups and cleanings might be recommended more frequently, such as every three or four months. 

childrens dentist denver highlands | highlands denver kids dentist The American Dental Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommend that your child's teeth be brushed twice each day using a child-sized, soft-bristled toothbrush. Make sure the back molars are brushed as this is the place where cavities often first develop. Help your child floss once each day. Floss sticks or picks might be easier than regular string dental floss.

The American Dental Association's official stance on fluoride is that it is effective in preventing cavities. Fluoride toothpaste is also beneficial when it comes to keeping dental decay at bay.

We recommend that children visit the dentist once all, or most, of their primary teeth have erupted.  

Tooth-Colored Fillings

white fillings denver co A cavity is a hole that develops in a tooth because of decay. Also called dental caries, cavities develop as a result of bacteria in the mouth that eat away at the outermost layer of the tooth, or the enamel. It’s important to get cavities repaired as soon as they are spotted as the decay will worsen over time.

dentist denver highlands | dental exam denverA cavity that is left untreated will continue to grow. When a cavity is small, it can easily be treated with a tooth-colored filling. If the decay spreads, it will mean that more of the tooth structure has to be removed and treatment options may become more complex. You may require a crown or a root canal. Extraction is even a possibility if the tooth has so much decay it cannot be restored.

Veneers

Taking care of your porcelain veneers is not much different than taking care of your natural teeth. Although the veneers themselves cannot develop decay, the part of your tooth that is adjacent to the veneers still can. Brush at least twice a day and floss at least once a day to keep your teeth and gums healthy at home.

Avoid using a whitening toothpaste with your veneers. Many of these contain harsh abrasives that can actually damage the surface of porcelain veneers. For the same reason, you should also avoid any toothpaste that contains baking soda.

Your choice of a toothbrush is also important. With veneers, you want to make sure you are using a manual toothbrush that has soft bristles. If bristles are soft, there is less chance of damaging your gums and causing gum recession. If your gums recede, some of your tooth structure might show above the veneers, which many consider to be unpleasing esthetically.

As always, make sure you stay current with dental appointments and visit your dentist twice each year for examinations and cleanings.

If you have any other questions about taking care of your veneers, be sure to ask your Denver dentists at Highland Smiles.

Zoom Whitening

teeth whitening denver highladsWe use the Zoom whitening system, which is a safe bleaching process that whitens both the enamel and dentin of your teeth. After just one treatment, you will immediately have a smile that is several shades lighter. We recommend you combine this in-office procedure with our take-home bleaching trays for even more dramatic results.

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