Common Questions From Our Zephyrhills, FL, Dental Office

People are naturally fearful of the dentist, whether from bad childhood experiences or just a fear of the unknown. Get your questions answered here to ease your anxiety and prepare for you dental exam or cosmetic procedure and Sunshine Smile Designs.

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  • I hate my lower denture, what options do I have?

     

    You are not alone, about 90% of people with lower dentures have difficulty with them.  Unlike upper dentures which use the anatomy of the palate to create suction, lower dentures rely on the tongue and cheek muscles to hold them in place.  This is extremely difficult for the majority of people to get used to.  Implants change everything about lower dentures.  We can place two implants in the bone where your canine or I teeth used to be and then place snaps in the denture.  The denture then snaps onto the implants which holds the denture in place.  My happiest patients are the ones that go from a conventional lower denture to an implant supported denture.  I had one patient tell me he had forgotten what it was like to have a real meal until he got his implants!   At Sunshine Smile Designs, we do a free implant consult for anyone interested in changing their life!

  • How much do implants cost and how long do they last?

    Implants vary in price depending on your bone structure and skeletal composition.  Therefore, without an evaluation it is very hard to give an exact price on implants.  Usually a set implant fee does not include the other procedures that may be necessary in order to place an implant.  That is why at Sunshine Smile Designs we always offer free implant consults.  This way we can give you an exact price along with payment options to see if implants are an option for you.  Most dentistry has a life expectance of about 8-10 years.  However, this is not the case with implants.  Because implants integrate into your bone and become a part of your body, implants last as long as you do.  Implants also cannot get decay like tooth borne dentistry which is another reason they do not have a life expectancy.  Therefore, when considering the price of implants, it is important to consider that when done by a trained dentist, they will not need to be replaced in your lifetime.  So, while implants can be expensive at the onset, the longevity of the treatment must be considered!  

  • What is an implant and should I get one?

    An implant is a titanium screw that is screwed into the jawbone.  Over a few months, the implant actually integrates into the body and becomes part of the jawbone which makes it very stable.  Once the actual implant is integrated, different pieces can be placed onto the top of the implant.  This allows the implant to either act as a tooth or act as an anchor for a removable appliance like a denture or partial.  

  • What Are Dentures and the Steps to Getting Dentures?

    At Sunshine Smile Designs, we do dentures a little differently than a lot of offices.  If you still have your teeth, but need a denture, we are going to make you a denture before we ever pull your teeth.  We don't ever want you walking around without being able to smile!  Most often, by the time someone is in need of a denture, when we pull their teeth and put in their temporary denture, they walk out of the office looking better immediately!

    Here is the process...

    If you come in still having teeth, once the exam reveals that you need a denture, we will take impressions.  Within the next week, your temporary denture will be ready and we will extract your teeth and place the temporary denture the same day.  The temporary denture acts like a bandaid and helps keep your extraction sites protected while you heal.  During the next six to eight months, your mouth will completely heal and re-shape..  During this time, you will wear the temporary denture and we will place liners in the denture to help your gums heal and keep you comfortable.  After you have completely healed, we will start your permanent denture.  This is the same process we use for people that have an existing denture that needs replaced.  

    If you have an existing denture, we make our dentures using a 5 step process.  

    Step 1: We take simple impressions.  

    Step 2: Using a custom tray made from the original impressions taken, we take a very detailed impression of your mouth.  

    Step 3: Using plastic trays with wax on them that are made from your impressions, we take a registration of how your jaws come together.  During this appointment, we also confer with you to chose a shade for your new teeth.  

    Step 4: This is the fun visit!  Your new teeth will be in a custom plate in wax to allow you to see what they will look like.  You will be able to see the size, shape, color, and placement of the teeth to make sure you love them.  During this visit, we can move or change the teeth in any way.  Once you love the way they look, we send them to the lab to process.  

    Step 5: You get your dentures!  After this visit, you can return as much or as little as you like.  We are available for as many adjustments as you need at no charge.  

    Step 6: Go out and smile!!!

     

  • What is a crown?

    A dental crown is basically a cover for a tooth to protect it.  Sometimes people refer to it as a cap.  A crown is necessary for a tooth any time the tooth is missing more than 50% of the tooth structure.  Therefore, in the case of a broken tooth, a tooth with decay, or a tooth with large silver filling, a crown may be recommended.  A crown can also be used for cosmetic reasons.  Most of the "Hollywood" smiles seen on tv are a result of crown work on front teeth.  So crowns can serve two purposes, to protect your teeth or give you a "Hollywood Smile."  

  • Do you offer payment plans?

    Absolutely, we offer numerous payment plans to fit almost any budget, and many of them are interest-free.

  • Do I need good credit to qualify for a dental payment plan?

    No, we have payment plans that do not require any credit at all.

  • Can I be seen if I don't have dental insurance?

    Absolutely, we're happy to see you and can often times work with you on a payment plan to ease the financial burden if you don't have insurance.

  • What should I do if I think I have tooth or gum disease?

    Call us immediately to schedule an appointment for an examination with the doctor.  If caught early, many dental issues can be resolved with minor treatment and minor expense.  If you put off treatment, your dental problems will only get worse and become more expensive to fix.

  • What are some of the warning signs of tooth and gum disease?

    Signs and Symptoms of tooth and/or gum disease may include but are not limited to the following:

    • Pain in a tooth or teeth or pain in the gums surrounding a tooth or teeth.
    • Pain or sensitivity when the tooth is exposed to heat or cold.
    • Jaw pain which sometimes feels like it radiates to the ear.
    • Swelling in or around the jaw or gums
    • Difficulty opening your mouth.
    • Bleeding gums or visibly exposed tooth root surfaces.
    • Loose Teeth
    • Pain or discomfort when you bite down
    • Dark spots on teeth or visible tarter build up on the teeth.

    It's very important to realize that many times tooth and gum disease can be present while you experience no signs or symptoms whatsoever.  This fact makes it extremely important to been see by a dentist on a regular basis so that any underlying problems can be detected early while treatment is usually more simple and less expensive.