FAQ

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From your description, it sounds like a very normal situation and nothing to be concerned about. When the teeth are forming in the jaws, they are surrounded by a soft tissue membrane called Nasmyth’s Membrane (named after Alexander Nasmyth, a Scottish dental surgeon in London who died in 1847).

As the teeth erupt, remnants of this membrane remain on the surface of the enamel. The fibrous nature of the membrane readily picks up coloration from food.

In most cases normal chewing and brushing will remove the remnants with time. If they don’t come off, they can be removed by having a professional cleaning.

Other causes for staining of teeth include high fevers during infancy, too much fluoride in drinking water and certain medications if taken while the teeth are still forming.

Dental implants are a wonderful way to replace missing teeth when certain conditions exist. Such things as your overall general health and the length of time you have been missing your teeth must be considered. The replacement of missing teeth using dental implants frequently requires a team approach.

After your dentist does a thorough examination and treatment plan the surgical phase of treatment takes place. In most cases a periodontist or an oral surgeon will put the implant(s), the artificial root(s) into the jaw. When healing is complete, usually after 4-6 months, the tooth or bridge segment can be placed on top of the healed implants by a general dentist.  Some dentists are trained to place the surgical part of the implant as well as the prosthetic or tooth part.

You should ask your dentist if you are a good candidate for implants and ask for a referral if he or she doesn’t do them.

Silver amalgam fillings, which are composed of 50% mercury and 50% silver alloy, eventually need to be replaced. It may surprise you to know that the average life span of a silver filling is five to eight years. Your dentist can tell you when they appear to NEED to be replaced due to leakage, breakdown or recurrent decay.

If your concern is strictly COSMETIC, there are many new methods available to replace the fillings with beautiful, functional long lasting restorations.

Such things as white filling materials, porcelain inlays, crowns and veneers may be used to give you the smile you are seeking.

There is currently a great deal of interest in new reinforced hybrid materials. These beautiful resin materials may be reinforced with fibers, similar to fiberglass, and used in very conservative inlays and bridges without having to grind away a whole healthy tooth.