Our Indianapolis Family Dentists Answer Your Questions

Below is a list of some of the questions we get asked most frequently from our patients. If you have a question that isn't answered below, feel free to give us a call at (317) 926-5467 and our team at Meridian Dental Care will be happy to assist you and schedule you an appointment.

Invisalign
What is Invisalign?

Invisalign is a popular alternative to traditional metal braces and available to both adults and children in order to correct any crooked, gapped, or misaligned teeth. They are virtually invisible and are made of a thermoplastic that look similar to whitening trays. They are custom-made to comfortably fit your teeth and can straighten your teeth faster than the traditional option!

How long will this treatment take?

Every patient is different, so there is no guarantee on how long your particular treatment will take. No two smiles are the same, so your case can only be determined by what your dentist tells you!

 

The average treatment time takes about 12 months for adults, whereas traditional metal braces are known to take up to 2 years. Teens' time will vary, as well.

What's the treatment plan for Invisalign like?

When you wear Invisalign, your Indianapolis dentist will tell you to wear them for a majority of your day, about 22 hours. The only time that you're supposed to take them off is when you're eating your breakfasts, lunches, and dinners, and when you're brushing your teeth.

 

You'll be different kinds of aligners throughout your treatment because your teeth will be shifting positions overtime. Once a certain period is completed, you'll be moving onto the next, and so on until your treatment is finished! Dont be afraid to ask us any questions that you may have; schedule your appointment or consultation today by calling our office at (317) 926-5467.

Taking Care of Your Teeth and Gums
How often should I visit the dentist?
You should visit the dentist at least twice a year. A dental exam can reveal early signs of decay and disease that you may not see or feel. Catching these conditions early can help control them before them get worse and harder to treat. Additionally, getting a cleaning by a trained professional will remove plaque in areas you may have missed or cannot reach.
How often should I brush and floss my teeth?
You should brush at least twice a day, once in the morning and once before going to bed. You should floss once a day as well.
What is the proper way to brush my teeth?
The following guidelines are important to brushing correctly.

1.Firstly, make sure to use a soft bristled brush. Hard bristled brushes can wear down the enamel of your teeth.

2. Place your brush at a 45 degree angle to your gumline. Bristles should contact both the tooth surface and the gumline.

3. Use short back and forth strokes or tiny circular movements to brush your teeth. Each movement should be no bigger than the size of each tooth.

4. Make sure to use gentle strokes while brushing. Gentle strokes are effective in removing plaque, while too much pressure can wear down the enamel of your teeth.

5. Brush all surfaces of each tooth, including the outer, inner, and the chewing surfaces of the teeth.

6. Finally, don't cut your brushing short! Make sure to brush for at least 2 minutes.
What is the proper way to floss?
The following guidelines are important to flossing correctly.

1. Take 18" of floss and wind it around the middle finger of each hand .You can use these fingers to take up floss as it becomes dirty. Using your thumb and forefinger, pinch the floss leaving 1-2 inches in between for cleaning.

2. Gently move the floss up and down the spaces of your teeth. Never snap the floss down onto your gums, as it can cause damage.

3. As you move the floss down into the space between two teeth, slide it up and down against the surface of one tooth. Gently clean at the gumline as well. Repeat this for the other tooth.

4. Repeat this process for all of your teeth.

What is plaque?
Plaque is a sticky, clear film which forms every day on teeth from food debris and bacteria. If plaque is not removed, it can lead to gum disease and cavities. Regular dental check ups, along with brushing and flossing every day, can help prevent plaque buildup on teeth. In addition, avoiding sugary snacks and eating a balanced diet can help control plaque.
Periodontal (Gum) Disease
What is periodontal (gum) disease
Periodontal (gum) disease is an infection of the gums and bone that hold your teeth in place. Typically, periodontal disease occures when plaque builds up on the teeth and hardens, often due to poor brushing habits. The gums can become swollen and red in the early stage of the disease, called gingivitis. As the disease advances, periodontal disease can lead to sore and bleeding gums, pain while chewing, as well as tooth loss.
What are the signs of periodontal disease?
The following are signs of periodontal (gum) disease, and you should contact your dentist if you experience any of these:

  • gums that bleed while brushing
  • red, swollen or tender gums
  • gums that have pulled away from the teeth
  • bad breath that doesn't go away
  • pus between your teeth and gums
  • loose teeth
  • a change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite
  • a change in the fit of partial dentures
How can I prevent periodontal disease?
Periodontal disease can be prevented by practicing good oral hygiene. This includes brushing, flossing, and visiting you dentist regularly. Also make sure to eat a healthy diet to get the required vitamins and minerals necessary for your teeth.
Teeth Whitening
Why do our teeth turn yellow?
While our teeth start out pearly white, they can discolor through the years as our enamel wears down. The wearing down of enamel allows dentin, a yellow color substance that makes the core of our teeth, to show through. This is what gives our teeth a yellowish tint.
What are the different types of teeth whitening options?
Below are the three most popular teeth whitening options available today.

In-office teeth whitening
In-office teeth whitening works by producing a significant color change in your teeth in short amount of time, usally within an hour. The procedure is done at the dentist's office applying a high-concentration peroxide gel on the teeth after they have been protected with a special shield.

Professionally Dispensed Take-Home Whitening Kits
These whitening kits are purchased from your doctor for use at home. The strength of the gel used in these kits is lower than that used for in-office bleaching, and thus the gel can be applied for longer periods of time. Usually the trays are worn a couple hours a day or overnight for a few days or weeks depending on the product.

Over the counter whitening
Over the counter teeth whitening kits are store-bought and use a lower concentration gel than both in-office bleachin and take-home kits purchased from your doctor. While they are cheaper, they typically are less effective than methods that can be performed by your dentist because of the low concentration gel. Additionally, over the counter trays are not custom fit for your teeth, which can result in irritation to your gums while wearing the trays.
How long does teeth whitening last?
Teeth whitening usually lasts from one to three years before darkening of the teeth is noticed. Additionally, once your teeth have been initially whitened, typically only "touch ups" are required to maintain the whiteness.
Dental Implants
How long does placement take?

While the total time it will take for us to place your dental implant in our Indianapolis office will vary by the total number being placed and location, a straight-forward procedure will usually take your doctor only about an hour to complete. 

Is the surgery painful?

No- it is not. Most of the time your implant will be placed while under general anesthesia, much like if you had any other procedure performed. Following the dental implant placement, you may experience minor discomfort- but time for healing is relatively short because there are no open wounds. 

How long does the process take?

From the beginning consultations to you being completely healed- the entire process of dental implant placement can take between 2 and 9 months, typically. In the first phase of treatment, the implant will be placed and will need to fuse to your jaw bone- this can take several months. Following that, the permanent restoration will need to be created and placed by your Indianapolis dentist- which typically involves less time. 

What can I eat after surgery?

Eating nutritious, soft-textured food and drinking plenty of water is required after dental implant surgery. We will work with you on developing a diet that meets all of your specific dietary needs beforehand. You should avoid chewing on the direct site of the implant for a decent amount of time after surgery if at all possible. 

How long do they last?

In order for a dental implant to last- it must not only be placed and fused successfully but treated for carefully after placement too. If all of these conditions are met, it is not unusual for a dental implant to last 40 years or even longer.

What's the price tag?

As it is with most investments- price can be relative. A dental implant may be more expensive than getting a denture to replace your teeth immediately, but can save you money in the long term in the event you break a denture/need to replace it, etc. Most insurance companies will not cover the cost of implants- but you should inquire from yours beforehand to make sure. Although there is a price tag attached to most things- the natural feeling and look you will get from a dental implant we consider to be priceless. 

 

Call the #1 providers of dental implants in Indianapolis today for more information!

Other Common Questions
What can I do about bad breath?
Bad breath is caused by a variety of factors, including the types of food you ingest, periodontal disease, dry mouth, and other causes. Going to your dentist will help you determine the cause of your bad breath, so that you can take steps to elminate it.

Regardless of the cause of your bad breath, good oral hygiene and regular checkups to the dentist will help reduce it. Brushing and flossing will eliminate particles of food stuck between your teeth which emit odors. It will also help prevent or treat periodontal disease (gum disease), caused by plaque buildup on your teeth, which can lead to bad breath. Dentures should be properly cleaned and soaked overnight in antibacterial solution (unless otherwise advised by your dentist). Finally, make sure to brush your tongue regularly to eliminate any residue.

Appointment request

Need an appointment with a dentist in Indianapolis ? Requesting an appointment at our Indianapolis, IN family and cosmetic dental office is now easier than ever. Fill out the form below and we'll contact you to find a time that fits your schedule. Start your journey towards a beautiful smile with today!
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