Interlachen Dental Associates
 
 
Find Us On:
 
 
5101 Vernon Ave, Edina, MN 55436
info@interlachendental.com
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Frequently Asked Questions

 

Cosmetic Dentistry

Can I have my silver fillings replaced with white fillings?
Yes. Many people are having their long time silver fillings replaced with white fillings.

Are white fillings as strong as silver fillings?

Yes. They are made of a plastic or porcelain material that bond to the tooth for a tight seal. They are strong and stain resistant. The fillings are a natural tooth color which makes them invisible looking.

What do I do if I have cracked, worn or broken teeth?

Your teeth can be restored with a natural tooth colored resin that is shaped and polished so your tooth has a natural appearance.

What is the difference between a crown and a cap?

Nothing. They are the same thing. It's just different terminology.

What is the difference between a crown and a veneer?
A crown covers all or most of the tooth and a veneer is a facing.

What are my options for bleaching/whitening my teeth?
We offer several options for whitening your teeth. Call our office to schedule an appointment so we can discuss the best option for you.

What is the difference between the bleaching/whitening products in the store and the products you provide in your dental office?
The products that we provide in our office are stronger and generally have a better result in less time.

Is bleaching/whitening my teeth safe?
Yes, as long as you follow the directions.

What can I do if I'm not happy with my smile?
Tell us what you would like to change or improved. There are many options that you can choose from to enhance your smile.
 

Dental Emergencies

What constitutes an emergency and what should I do?
There are many things that constitute an emergency. Some of the most common ones are listed below:

Toothache

Rinse your mouth with water. Gently use dental floss to ensure that there is no food or other debris caught between the teeth. Do not put heat or aspirin on the tooth or gum tissue in the surrounding area. Apply a cold compress if necessary. Call our office if pain persists or if you have any questions.

Fractured/Broken Tooth

Rinse your mouth with warm water and use a cold compress to prevent/reduce swelling. If possible, save the piece of tooth that has broken off, place it in a container with milk or saline solution and bring it with you to your dental appointment. Use ibuprofen or Tylenol for pain. Contact our office to schedule an appointment immediately.

Knocked Out Tooth

Quick action can save a knocked out tooth and prevent infection. Rinse your mouth with water and apply a cold compress to prevent/reduce swelling. If you are unable to place the tooth back into its socket, don't let it dry out, place the tooth in a container with a lid and fill with milk, saline solution or saliva. Contact our office or go to the emergency room immediately.

Bitten Tongue, Cheek or Lip

Clean the area gently with a cloth and apply a cold compress to reduce any swelling. If it is bleeding and does not stop, go to the emergency room immediately.

Objects Caught between Teeth
Try to remove the object with dental floss. Do not try to remove the object with a sharp or pointed object. If you are unable to remove it, call our office.
 

Dental Insurance

Do you accept my insurance?
If your insurance plan requires a specific provider, please call our office to verify that we are a provider for your insurance plan.

Will my insurance cover all of my dental expenses?

Dental benefit plans are designed to share in the costs of your dental care.

What does the term usual, customary and reasonable mean?
Usual, customary and reasonable (UCR) is a term defined by you insurance carrier that the fees charged by your dental office are usual, customary and reasonable. This statement does not apply to carriers who reimburse a claim based on an arbitrary schedule of fees, which often bear no relationship to the current standard and cost of care in your area. These fees are generally assigned by the insurance carriers to a geographic area and may or may not reflect the actual fees the dental office charge.

Do all dental insurance give the same benefits?

No. There are many different types of insurance plans that have many different benefits. That's why it is important for you to really understand what benefits you will receive with your individual plan. Make sure that you that you understand your coverage so you can fully utilize your maximum benefits. Also, remember that your insurance contract is between you, your employer and the insurance carrier. When your dental insurance carrier or coverage changes, we request that you notify our office with the updated information so we can process your claims correctly.

Will you submit my claim to my insurance company for me?
Yes. We will fill out and submit your insurance claim as a courtesy to you.

Why is my social security number and driver's license needed?

There seems to be at least two reasons why patients are being asked for their social security number and driver's license.

1. The FTC Red Flags Rule: In an effort to curb identity theft, and realize that health insurance information is a big target for identity thieves, the Federal Trade Commission in 2007 unveiled what they call the "Red Flags Rule". The Red Flags Rule requires all creditors, including certain health care entities, to collect social security numbers as proof the patient is the person he or she says they are. If the patient does not have the required documentation, that raises a red flag.

According to the FTC, these entities must have policies and measures in place to prevent identity theft, in this case, medical identity theft.

2. Healthcare Payers Use Social Security Numbers: Doctors find it increasingly difficult to collect the money owed to them from all payers - health insurers, Medicare, Medicaid and others. The universal identifier among Americans is, of course, the social security number. Having that universal identifier may make it easier for the doctor to collect what is owed from your payer.
 

Endodontic (Root Canal) Treatment

What is root canal treatment?
Root Canal Treatment (RCT) is a procedure that is done if a tooth's pulp (nerve and blood supply) becomes infected or inflamed. This treatment may be the only way to save the tooth without removing it. It gives the patient a safe and effective way to treat an infected or inflamed tooth. Having a root canal treatment allows the patient to keep this tooth so the tooth will continue to function as any other natural tooth. Root canal treatment consists of removing the nerve within the root of the tooth and placing a permanent filling in the canal space. After this treatment has been completed a permanent filling or build up is placed in the tooth to restore it. Often it is necessary to place a crown on this tooth to strengthen it and protect it from fracturing. For more information, talk with Dr. Gitzen or Dr. Nelson or visit the American Dental Association's website at http://www.ada.org.
 

Fresh Breath

What causes bad breath?
Studies show that about 80% of halitosis problems originate in the mouth; the remaining 20% result from medical causes. Most often it can be caused from food, reflux, tooth decay or broken or leaking fillings, periodontal disease, dry mouth or a build up of plaque and tartar that can harbor odor causing bacteria. Some of the medical causes to be that can contribute to a patient having a halitosis problem are sinus infections, diabetes, stomach, liver or kidney ailment or diet. Certain medications can also cause bad breath. Also, use of tobacco in any form can cause halitosis.

What can I do to prevent bad breath?
Good oral hygiene is the first place to start. It is important that you brush your teeth and tongue at least twice a day, or as often as you need to brush in order to keep you mouth clean and healthy, floss once a day and rinse with an antiseptic mouthrinse, such as Listerine, or a periodontal rinse, such as BreathRx, twice a day to help kill the bacteria in your mouth. (Make sure that you purchase products with the American Dental Association Seal of Acceptance displayed on them). Be sure to keep regular scheduled professional cleanings. Please let us know if you have any concerns about maintaining fresh breath. See Oral Hygiene Instructions.
 

Oral Cancer

Are there certain signs that I should look for?
Yes. You should take an active role in detecting the early signs of oral cancer by periodically checking your lips, gum tissue, tongue, cheek lining and the floor and roof of your mouth. Some of the things to look for are color changes, lumps, sores or tenderness. It is important to maintain good oral hygiene and see your dentist for regularly scheduled appointments with your dentist for a thorough periodic examination. For more information, talk with Dr. Gitzen or Dr. Nelson or visit the American Dental Association's website at http://www.ada.org.

Is tobacco use harmful?
Tobacco use has been identified as a major risk factor for the development of oral cancer. For more information, talk with Dr. Gitzen or Dr. Nelson or visit the American Dental Association's website at http://www.ada.org.
 

Orthodontic (Braces) Treatment

How do I know if my child needs braces?
We can examine your child to determine if they need braces.

Do you have suggestions for brushing when you have braces?

Wearing braces means that you have to care for you teeth better than ever before. You need to brush more often and floss carefully to remove food particles after every meal and before you go to bed. It is also important to rinse your mouth if you are not able to brush after eating. It is also helpful to use a floss threader to clean in between your teeth and a Waterpik to help clean your gum tissue.

Can drinking carbonated soft drinks harmful?

Yes. Soft drinks contain acid that is the primary cause weakening tooth enamel. If you drink soft drinks (sugar or sugar-free) regularly, you should do so in moderation. Consider healthy alternatives, such as water. For more information, ask our staff for Minnesota Dental Association's brochure on "Sip All Day, Get Tooth Decay" or go to their website at http://www.mndental.org
 

Infant and Child Dental Need

When will my baby get their first teeth?
Usually the first two baby (primary) teeth come into the mouth are the two bottom front teeth. They will appear when your baby is about 6 to 8 months old.

What do I do when my baby is teething?
Babies are usually teething between the ages of 4 month through 2 years old. Their sore gums can often be soothed by gently rubbing the baby's gums with a clean finger, a small cool spoon, a wet cloth or a clean cool teething ring.

Are pacifiers and thumb sucking harmful for my child?
It is natural for babies to want to suck on something. If you notice that your baby wants to suck on something it is better if they suck on a pacifier rather than their fingers, thumb or a toy. Pacifiers are less likely to cause malocclusion and are easier to discontinue than thumb sucking. Make sure that you purchase pacifiers that have the ADA Seal of Acceptance. Do not let your baby use the pacifier all the time, only when necessary.

Is it true that drinking from a baby bottle causes tooth decay?

It is called Baby Bottle Tooth Decay or Baby Bottle Syndrome, which causes a dental condition which involves the rapid decay of the baby (primary) teeth. This condition is cause by frequent exposure of a child's teeth for long periods of time to liquids containing sugars (formula, milk or juice). Especially if your baby falls asleep with a bottle. Parents may not know that there is a problem until serious damage has already been done. Some suggestions to help protect your child from this condition are never allow you child to fall asleep with a bottle with anything but water in it, clean your child's teeth daily, don't let your baby use a bottle for more than one year and give your child water when they are thirsty.

How often should my child brush their teeth?

As soon as their first tooth appears, you brush their teeth after they eat or drink something other than water. Teach them good habits at an early age.

Is it necessary for my child to floss?
Yes. As soon as your child has multiple teeth that are side by side. It's a good habit to start for your child.

How old should my child be for their first dental visit?
We usually recommend a child come in for their first examination appointment around age three. However, you as a parent, should examine your child's mouth regularly. Dr. Gitzen's rule of thumb is, "if you look in their mouth and see anything that is not white (teeth) or pink (tissue), you should call our office or bring your child in for an exam."

What are good snacks to give my children?
Healthy snacks. Limit sugar and starchy foods. Offer your child foods that don't promote tooth decay such as vegetables, cheese or pretzels.

How do I help prevent my children from having dental decay/cavities?
Make sure your child develops good habits by eating a well balanced diet (limit sugars and starches) and maintaining good oral hygiene. Teach them by example is the best training you can give your impressionable child.

What is fluoride and how important is it?
Fluoride helps harden the tooth enamel and makes it more resistant to tooth decay. Fluoride can be delivered to the teeth through fluoridated water, using toothpaste and mouth rinses containing fluoride and professional fluoride gels that can be applied in the dental office or at home. For more information, talk with Dr. Gitzen or Dr. Nelson or visit the American Dental Association's website at http://www.ada.org.

What should I do to teach my child good oral hygiene?

Help your child to develop good daily habits of eating a well balance diet, including limiting sugars and starches. Also, promote good oral hygiene by helping your child brush and floss everyday and to visit their dentist regularly. Remember, teaching by example is the best training you can give your impressionable child.

What are sealants?
Sealants are made of a liquid plastic filling material we place on the chewing surface of your tooth to keep out harmful germs and bacteria. They can prevent future cavities from developing. Sealants are routinely placed on children's permanent molars and bicuspids as early as age six.

What should I do if my child has a toothache?

Rinse the irritated area with warm salt water. Gently floss between the teeth to ensure there is no food or other debris caught between the teeth. Place a cold compress on the child's cheek if there is swelling. Call our office if pain persists or if you have any questions.
 

Teenage/Adolescent Dental Needs

Do you have special recommendations for teenagers?
It can be a tumultuous time in their life. Maintaining good oral hygiene habits and eating a well balanced healthy diet is very important. We sometimes see kids this age not pay attention to their good habits that they developed as children or choose not to follow them.

Is drinking carbonated soft drinks harmful?

Yes. Soft drinks contain acid that is the primary cause weakening tooth enamel. If you drink soft drinks (sugar or sugar-free) regularly, you should do so in moderation. Consider healthy alternatives, such as water. For more information, ask our staff for Minnesota Dental Association's brochure on "Sip All Day, Get Tooth Decay" or go to their website at http://www.mndental.org.

Is tobacco use bad for my teeth?
Yes. Tobacco is harmful to your teeth and all of the tissue in your mouth. It can cause stains on your teeth and cause bad breath. But the most import issue to your oral health is that tobacco use has been identified as a major risk factor for the development of oral cancer. For more information, talk with Dr. Gitzen or Dr. Nelson or visit the American Dental Association's website at http://www.ada.org.

Should I have my tongue pierced?
Most dentists discourage oral piercing because of the risks of involved. Unfortunately many young people don't realize there are a lot of alarming side effects that could happen to them. Some of these side effects include a lot of pain, swelling, nerve damage, infection, drooling, loss of taste, scarring, chipped teeth and tooth loss. It can also cause a serious infection of the heart valves or tissues called endocarditis by providing an opportunity for bacteria to enter into your bloodstream and traveling to your heart. For more information, talk with Dr. Gitzen or Dr. Nelson or visit the American Dental Association's website at http://www.ada.org.

Is flossing really important?

Yes. Flossing is very important because it cleans the areas of your teeth and gum tissue that your tooth brush cannot reach. "How often should I brush every day?" You should brush a minimum of 2 times a day or as Dr. Gitzen recommends, "brush as often as you need to brush in order to keep your mouth clean and healthy."

What kind of toothbrush should I use?

There are two types of toothbrushes to choose from. standard (manual) and electric. Actually many patients use a combination of both.

Standard: Choose a toothbrush with soft nylon bristles. Most people find a small to medium toothbrush head more comfortable and easier to manipulate in your mouth. Your toothbrush should be replaced when the brush begins to lose its shape and the bristles become frayed, no less than every three months.

Electric: The advantages of using an electric toothbrush is that in general, it does a better job. The high speed movement may disrupt the bacterial plaque more effectively. Choose an ADA accredited product such as Sonicare (for more information, visit their website at http://www.Sonicare.com). Oral-B (for more information, visit their website at http://www.Sonicare.com). or Crest.
 

Periodontal (Gum Disease) Treatment

What is periodontal disease?
It is an infection that can develop in the gum tissue.

Are there certain signs that I should look for?

Yes. Some of the warning signs are gum tissue that is swollen, inflamed or tender, gums that bleed easily or have been pulled away from your teeth, persistent bad breath or teeth that are loose. For more information, talk with Dr. Gitzen or Dr. Nelson or visit the American Dental Association's website at http://www.ada.org.

What can I do to prevent periodontal disease?
The best prevention is maintaining a healthy diet, good oral hygiene and keeps regularly scheduled professional cleanings and exams with your dentist.

Are people with diabetes more likely to develop periodontal disease?
Yes. People with diabetes are at a greater risk to develop periodontal disease, which can make managing your diabetes more difficult. The best thing for you to do is to see your dentist as often as recommended and maintain good oral hygiene.

Does tobacco use cause periodontal disease?

It does not cause periodontal disease, but it can increase your risk for developing the disease. If you smoke or use other forms of tobacco and already have periodontal disease, it can decrease your response to treating the disease. Our recommendation is don't start smoking or if you do, quit. For more information, talk with Dr. Gitzen or Dr. Nelson or visit the American Dental Association's website at http://www.ada.org

Do you recommend using a mouth rinse?
Yes. We recommend using an antiseptic mouthrinse to help kill the bacteria in your mouth. Use ADA certified products such as Listerine Antiseptic Mouthrinse and rinse twice a day or use a periodontal rinse, such as BreathRx Anti-Bacterial Mouth Rinse, which will help prevent plaque that can lead to gingivitis.
 

Pre-natal Dental Concerns

Is there anything that I should be aware of during my pregnancy?
Yes. It is important to eat a well balanced diet, have good oral hygiene and see your dentist for scheduled cleanings. Some women experience a condition called "pregnancy gingivitis" during their pregnancy. It results from their changing hormone levels and can cause their gums to become swollen and inflamed. Sometimes it is recommended to have more frequent professional cleanings during the second and third trimester of pregnancy. For more information, talk with Dr. Gitzen or Dr. Carson or visit the American Dental Association's website at http://www.ada.org.
 

Preventive Dentistry

How often do I need a check up?
Every six months is usually recommended, unless your dentist recommends a different time frame. A professional cleaning removes plaque, tartar and stains from your teeth. It also helps prevent gum disease and improves your appearance.

Is my diet important?
Yes. You should limit snacks and eat nutritious meals made up of foods from the five major food groups. Avoid sugar and acidic soft drinks.

Is drinking carbonated soft drinks harmful?
Yes. Soft drinks contain acid that is the primary cause weakening tooth enamel. If you drink soft drinks (sugar or sugar-free) regularly, you should do so in moderation. Consider healthy alternatives, such as water. For more information, ask our staff for Minnesota Dental Association's brochure on "Sip All Day, Get Tooth Decay" or go to their website at http://www.mndental.org

Is tobacco use bad for my teeth?

Yes. Tobacco is harmful to your teeth and all of the tissue in your mouth. It can cause stains on your teeth and cause bad breath. But the most import issue to your oral health is that tobacco use has been identified as a major risk factor for the development of oral cancer. For more information, talk with Dr. Gitzen or Dr. Nelson or visit the American Dental Association's website at http://www.ada.org

How can I recognize oral cancer?
You should take an active role in detecting the early signs of oral cancer by periodically checking your lips, gum tissue, tongue, cheek lining and the floor and roof of your mouth. Some of the things to look for are color changes, lumps, sores or tenderness. It is important to maintain good oral hygiene and see your dentist for regularly scheduled appointments with your dentist for a thorough periodic examination. For more information, talk with Dr. Gitzen or Dr. Nelson or visit the American Dental Association's website at http://www.ada.org.

What can I do to help prevent tooth decay?

Eat a well balanced diet and limit eating foods and drinks with sugars and starches. Also limit carbonated soft drinks. Maintain good daily oral hygiene.

Is flossing really important?

Yes. It is important to floss everyday to clean the areas that your toothbrush cannot reach.

How often should I brush every day?

You should brush a minimum of 2 times a day or as Dr. Gitzen recommends, "brush as often as you need to brush in order to keep your mouth clean and healthy".

What kind of toothbrush should I use?
There are two types of toothbrushes to choose from. standard (manual) and electric. Actually many patients use a combination of both.

Standard: Choose a toothbrush with soft nylon bristles. Most people find a small to medium toothbrush head more comfortable and easier to manipulate in your mouth. Your toothbrush should be replaced when the brush begins to lose its shape and the bristles become frayed, no less than every three months.

Electric: The advantages of using an electric toothbrush is that in general, it does a better job. The high speed movement may disrupt the bacterial plaque more effectively. Choose an ADA accredited product such as Sonicare (for more information, visit their website at http://www.Sonicare.com). Oral-B (for more information, visit their website at http://www.Sonicare.com). or Crest.

How often should I replace my toothbrush?

You should replace your when the brush begins to lose its shape and the bristles become frayed, no less than every three months.

Should I continue to use the same toothbrush if I have been ill?
If you are ill and have a fever, you should clean your brush daily. Soak in an antiseptic mouth rinse after every use and wash in the dishwasher once a day to help kill the bacteria.If you are taking an antibiotic, follow the above instructions for daily care and then after the 3rd full day after taking antibiotics, throw your brush away. It is important to not expose yourself to bacteria that could re-infect you.

Do you recommend using a mouth rinse?
Yes. We recommend using an antiseptic mouth rinse to help kill the bacteria in your mouth. Use ADA certified products such as Listerine Antiseptic Mouth rinse and rinse twice a day or use a periodontal rinse, such as Breath Rx Anti-Bacterial Mouth Rinse, which will help prevent plaque that can lead to gingivitis.
 

Senior Dental Concerns

Are there things that I need to be aware of as a senior?
People who develop good oral hygiene habits early in life have a better chance of keeping their teeth all through their life. That's why it is important to brush twice a day, floss once a day, rinse with an antiseptic mouth rinse (such as Listerine) and visit your dentist at least twice a year for regular examinations and cleanings.

There may be some changes to your teeth and gum tissue that may occur such as, your teeth may darken in color and your gum tissue may recede and uncover the roots of your teeth. You may be more prone to gingivitis or periodontal disease. Dry mouth is caused by improperly functioning salivary glands. Salivary flow may be reduced. Saliva is necessary to lubricate and wash away plaque. This may also be caused by a medical condition or medication that you are taking. This condition may accelerate tooth decay or periodontal disease. That is why it is so important to maintain a healthy diet that limits or avoids sweets, caffeine, alcohol and tobacco use and good oral hygiene and schedule regular appointments for professional cleanings and examinations with your dentist. For more information, talk with Dr. Gitzen or Dr. Nelson or visit the American Dental Association's website at http://www.ada.org.

Do certain medications affect my oral health?
Yes. Many medications can cause a reduced salivary flow which can lead to periodontal disease or tooth decay or bad breath. That is why it is so important to maintain a healthy diet and good oral hygiene and schedule regular appointments for professional cleanings and examinations with your dentist. It is necessary for you to make a list of all medications (over the counter and prescription) and bring to your next dental visit and update our dental office if any of these medications change. For more information, talk with Dr. Gitzen or Dr. Nelson or visit the American Dental Association's website at http://www.ada.org.

How does diabetes affect my oral health?

As you know, diabetes can affect many parts of your body, including your oral health. Some of the oral health problems that are associated with diabetes are tooth decay, periodontal disease, salivary dysfunction are to name a few. If you notice that you have bleeding gum tissue, red, swollen or tender gums, gums that are receding or are pulling away from your teeth or persistent bad breath or have a bad taste in your mouth you should schedule an appointment with Dr. Gitzen or Dr. Nelson as soon as possible. For more information, talk with Dr. Gitzen or Dr. Nelson or visit the American Dental Association's website at http://www.ada.org.

Do I need to take an antibiotic before my dental appointments?
If you have certain kinds of heart disease or have had a joint replaced or have had some other artificial implant such as a pacemaker. You physician will let you know if this is necessary. For more information visit the American Heat Association's website at http://www.americanheart.org. The American Heart Association publishes the more current guidelines and recommended use of preventive antibiotics.

The reason that it is necessary to pre-medicate with antibiotics prior to dental appointments for people with these conditions is because bleeding can sometimes occur during dental treatment. As a result, bacteria from your mouth can possibly enter your bloodstream and work it way to your heart which could cause a condition that is called bacterial endocarditic or could travel to your artificial joint. By taking preventive antibiotics, you can reduce that risk. For more information, talk with your physician/surgeon, Dr. Gitzen or Dr. Nelson or visit that American Dental Association's website at http://www.ada.org or visit the American Heart Association's website at http://www.ada.org.

Is tobacco use bad for my teeth?
Yes. Tobacco is harmful to your teeth and all of the tissue in your mouth. It can cause stains on your teeth and cause bad breath. But the most import issue to your oral health is that tobacco use has been identified as a major risk factor for the development of oral cancer. For more information, talk with Dr. Gitzen or Dr. Nelson or visit the American Dental Association's website at http://www.ada.org
 

Sores in the Mouth:

What do I do if I have sores in my mouth?
There are many things that can cause sores in your mouth such as infections, a sharp edge from a broken tooth, biting your tongue, lip or cheek, etc. Mouth sores can also be a symptom of a disease or disorder. Please call our office if you have any questions or have a sore that persists more than a week.

The most common sores are canker sores which appear on the inside of your mouth and Cold sores, also called fever blisters, are small blisters that develop on or around your lips. Cold sores are caused by the herpes virus type 1 and are very contagious. Both of these types of sores generally go away on their own, but there are over the counter anesthetics that can provide some comfort to the area. Be sure to maintain good oral hygiene to keep these areas clean and avoid hot, spicy or acidic foods that can irritate these sores. For more information, talk with Dr. Gitzen or Dr. Nelson or visit the American Dental Association's website at http://www.ada.org. See the Oral Cancer section in the FAQ's in our website.
Call us today to schedule an appointment.