Answers to questions about oral health, caring for your teeth, and common dental procedures.

Why do my teeth hurt? What is gingivitis? How can I improve my smile? These are just some of the most common questions people have about dental care, and we’ve provided some helpful answers.

Sensitive teeth often come from the fact that your gums have slightly receded. This recession of the gum line allows the underlying dentin to show through which allows water and food easier access to the sensitive nerve. To manage this, there are a number of toothpastes, gels and even some dental procedures that can be applied. Speak to us in more detail if you have very sensitive teeth.
Great teeth and gum care start at home. Brushing and flossing on a daily basis is the best way to take care of your teeth and gums on a continual basis. By keeping to a daily routing you will greatly minimize the risk of gingivitis or tooth decay as you age.
Gingivitis is a condition caused when bacteria surrounds the teeth and enters the gums. The gums can become irritated, inflamed and often bleed. In order to prevent the condition from worsening, regular hygiene visits are highly recommended. During your visit, our Hygiene team will teach you the proper flossing techniques and Oral Hygiene protocol for Home Care will prevent the Periodontal Disease.

Periodontal Disease is a quiet disease that begins with little or no symptoms. It is caused by bacteria that surrounds the teeth and enters the gums. The immediate condition is known as gingivitis (see above). The gums become irritated, inflamed, and often bleed. If not properly treated, the condition worsens. Noticeable symptoms now appear, including:

  • Bad breath
  • Gum recession
  • Gum sensitivity to acidic foods
  • Abscesses
  • Tooth pain
  • Tooth loss
Periodontal Disease is a chronic condition that needs immediate attention. Through a series of periodontal cleanings, root planing and scaling, laser therapy and local antibiotics, this condition can be controlled. In severe cases, periodontal surgery is may be necessary.

Silver fillings (known as “Amalgam”) have been around for decades. Made from a metal alloy, it was the best restoration for fillings. The metal expands and contracts with the heat and cold placed in the mouth. This allowed for little bacteria to enter a tooth once filled; keeping the tooth healthy and strong.

White fillings, also known as composites are often made of plastic or glass polymers. These cosmetic fillings allow us to fill a cavity with a substance that will look and feel just like your existing tooth structure. This restoration is created with a resin material and fits tightly into a tooth to prevent decay.

One advantage to white fillings is that, unlike a gray or silver material in your mouth, the white composite color will match the color of your tooth.

Because of the advances in dental technology, there are several ways that we can to enhance our smile today. Some of those methods include:

  • Tooth whitening
  • Bonding
  • Porcelain veneers
  • Porcelain crowns

At Smiles on Clark, we have the capability to improve your smile using all or some of these procedures. For details, get started today and let us provide you with a customized treatment plan.

Tooth whitening is a safe, cost-effective procedure that creates a beautiful, healthy smile. Over the years, fluoride has begun to be added to the whitening product, which has reduced the risk of tooth and gum sensitivity.


The whitening process can last for a number of years if maintained properly, though obviously beverages such as coffee, tea, cola and wine will reduce the lasting effect. Remember, if it can stain a white shirt, it will stain your smile!

Tooth whitening must be monitored by your dentist and only done after a comprehensive exam and hygiene cleaning.

Bonding is a cost-effective procedure used to fill gaps in front teeth and to change a tooth’s color with amazing, immediate results. Within just a few hours, you’ll have a great smile!

Like tooth whitening, staining beverages like coffee, tea, cola and wine may change color of bonding over time.

Porcelain veneers are thin pieces of porcelain that go directly on your natural teeth in order to change the size, shape and color of a patient’s teeth. Veneers are used to repair fractured teeth, teeth darkened by age, stains, or medication, or even a crooked smile. Oftentimes, people will ask for porcelain veneers to simply feel and look younger with a straighter, whiter smile.

The porcelain veneer procedure is also extremely fast and can take as few as two dentist visits.

Crowns are a permanent cosmetic procedure that covers the entire tooth. Like veneers, crowns change the size, shape, and color of the teeth, and the procedure can take as few as two visits.

A dental implant is a permanent, synthetic replacement for a missing tooth or a tooth that has decayed beyond repair. Dental implants look and function just like natural teeth. There are many benefits of dental implants:

  • Dental implants are maintained by routine hygiene visits to your dental office
  • Dental implants decrease the possibility of bone loss, periodontal disease, tooth movement, and further tooth loss
  • Dental implants replace the need for full or partial dentures
  • Dental implants focus only on the tooth or teeth that are missing.

A traditional bridge would involve two or more adjacent teeth being compromised to create a false tooth in between.

The dental implant procedure typically takes as little as three visits to the dentist. The first visit includes an x-ray of the area in order to take an image for a surgical guide and a temporary prosthesis to cover the implant.

The next visit is to place the implant itself. A local anesthesia is applied to the area so the dentist can make a minor incision in the gum, then a screw-like, titanium piece is inserted through the incision underneath the gum and directly into the upper or lower jaw bone. Once the implant is inserted, the incision is closed up with sutures.

After about three months, the dental implant and the bone will fuse together, creating an anchor for the new tooth to be placed onto the dental implant. Once that happens, you’ll return to the dentist again in order to create the porcelain crown that will go over the dental implant.

Surprisingly, there is usually only minimal discomfort involved in the entire dental implant process. In fact, even during the implant placement procedure, unless the dentist determines that additional sedation is necessary, nothing more than the local anesthesia is needed.

As we said above, dental implants are permanent. With routine dental hygiene and proper home care, a dental implant can last anywhere from up to 30 years to a lifetime.

Start smiling more today.

You deserve a sensational smile, and we can help you achieve it. Get started today.